Last week, Peyton Manning only passed for 173 yards and zero touchdowns. He also tossed 2 interceptions. It was the first time in his career as a member of the Denver Broncos that he failed to find the endzone through the air.
Since then, he's been under fire from the media and some fans. The word on the street is that Father Time has finally caught up to him, and that's the reason why the Broncos have changed the complexion of their offense from a high-flying aerial attack, to a run-first approach.
Broncos offensive coordinator, Adam Gase, was asked today if he believes that Manning's age (38) is finally catching up to him.
“It’s comical to me," Gase said via the team. "We heard the same thing about [Patriots QB Tom] Brady, and he’s been ripping the league apart since then. You never doubt players of this caliber, I know that. I’m pretty sure every defensive coordinator is not thinking that.”
Gase has a point. Let's not forget that Manning is currently tied with Andrew Luck for the most passing TDs in the NFL (36). Since joining the Broncos in 2012, he has thrown for 128 TDs. That's insane production, especially when you factor in that it's been accomplished in less than three years.
The bottom line is this; Manning is just as good today as he was three weeks ago when he torched the Miami Dolphins defense for 4 TDs. The reality is that the Broncos loss to the St. Louis Rams shocked the coaches (and players). And it led to them reevaluating their offensive philosophy.
Broncos Country should take heart. Over the last month, the Broncos have proven that they can run the ball with authority, imposing their will on the opposition, and they can light up the scoreboard through the air when the need arises.
When you combine those offensive facets with the Broncos defense playing smash-mouth, predatory football, you have a recipe for a Super Bowl-winning team. The Broncos broke almost every offensive record in the NFL books last year. And look what it netted them. No cigar.
The team, and Peyton Manning, are focused on one thing; winning a Super Bowl. They believe, and I happen to agree with them, that this is the formula that gives them the best chance to do that. Fantasy football enthusiasts will simply have to live with it.