For a second, I thought about being controversial and selecting Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown for this weekly award, but I decided to go with the “safe” and, really, correct pick by tabbing Peyton Manning as the NFL Spin Zone Player of the Week. Last week’s winner was Robert Quinn of the St. Louis Rams, but I decided to go with a nationally recognized player this week in Manning, who led the Denver Broncos to a 37-21 win over the rival Oakland Raiders.
It only takes a quick glance at the stat sheet to get a glimpse for how good Peyton Manning was, and he completed a mind-boggling 86.5% of his passes by going 32-37 for 374 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. Manning averaged a stellar 10.1 yards per attempt, and his QB Rating of 135.8 wasn’t earned on simple dink-and-dunks (the easiest way to game QB Rating); Manning averaged 11.7 yards per completed pass. ESPN’s TQBR is a stat I love using to take a look at a player’s performance in the context of one game, and Manning’s TQBR was nearly flawless (0-100 scale with 50 being average) at 95.4.
Manning simply tore apart an inferior Raiders pass defense with surgical precision, and the word “precision” is a severe understatement in the context of an 86.5% passing day. He was perfect (6-6) when throwing it to the middle of the field, and he only missed two throws to the left side of the field. At this point, Manning’s numbers are beyond superlatives, and the only things that can be used to drag down his play are the mentions of how elite his receivers are as well as criticisms of the Raiders pass defense. While he wasn’t exactly faced with a challenge against Oakland, Peyton Manning played so well that it really doesn’t matter. I don’t care who the opponent is or how good your receivers are; averaging over ten yards per attempt is an extraordinary feat.