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Broncos a Better Team without Peyton Manning


Early in Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s all-time yardage record on a piddly, four-yard completion. It would be the highlight of his day; a miserable affair that included 4 interceptions and just 35 passing yards, amounting to arguably the worst performance of his entire illustrious career.

Manning’s eventual benching came not exclusively as a result of his awful play or injured foot he has been playing with, but as always, from some combination of the two. Enter his replacement Brock Osweiler, who looked competent and capable with the game already out of reach.

Regardless of whether Manning will sit out for an extended period of time, the truth remains: the Denver Broncos are a better team without him. All season, Manning has been the handicap the team has had to overcome, not the fearless leader who has led them to victory. Father Time eventually wins every battle, and he has waged an all-out assault on Manning in 2015.

Admittedly, it’s still impossible to tell what kind of quarterback Brock Osweiler will turn out to be should he start the rest of this season. But would you rather have a 2015 standard model Osweiler or a defective 2015 Peyton Manning at the helm?

For too long, Manning’s passes have lacked the velocity and accuracy he was known for. His decision-making has been poor, and his skillset is no longer broad enough to paint over other flaws of his team. In fact, the only category the NFL’s multi-time MVP leads his peers in this season is interceptions.

While Osweiler had a fair performance in place of Manning – completing over half his passes for one touchdown and one pick – it’s important to remember that most of that production came against KC’s prevent defense, a scheme designed to give up short throws in exchange for cutting off deep plays and forcing to opponent to run clock.

It’s also important to remember that Brock doesn’t need to be Peyton circa 2013 to keep this team competitive. The Denver defense remains one of the most feared units in the league, and although they gave up 29 points to an Alex Smith-led offense yesterday, the D surrendered only 2 touchdowns despite the Chiefs’ frequent short fields care of Manning’s turnovers.

In this league, your name and reputation can only precede you so much. With enough bad performances, teams will look for a way to improve without you. That time has simply come for Peyton.

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