Peyton Manning Poised To Have Best Season Ever In 2015


No, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning isn’t going to throw 50+ TDs this year. If he were to attempt to do so, that would spell disaster for the Broncos come December and January. However, Manning is in prime position to surprise naysayers and have his best season from start to finish in 2015.

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Manning enters 2015 with the lowest expectations of his career apart from his rookie season. National sports personalities such as Colin Cowherd have referred to the 39-year-old QB as “noodle-armed,” stating “his ball can’t cut through the wind anymore,” and “a hopeful shell of himself” at best. While analysis like this is understandable, if not somewhat accurate to an extant, the lowered expectations may end up as a blessing in disguise for Manning.

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Peyton has carried the weight of the franchise, and at times, the NFL on his shoulders in past seasons. Too often he was asked to be: offensive coordinator, coach, instrumental and emotional leader, and the best player on the field every Sunday. Regardless of how great you are, that wears on any man.

Through the first nine games of 2014 Manning had 29 TDs and seven interceptions. Over the final seven games of 2014 he threw only 10 TDs and eight interceptions. New head coach Gary Kubiak is determined to not let that happen stating to ESPN’s Jeff Legwold “we’ve got a plan in place and we’ll stick to that plan.”

Kubiak’s plan is rooted in experience, and successful experience at that. He served as offensive coordinator for John Elway when Elway was 38 years old and won a Super Bowl with him with the same agenda.

“I can remember some of the conversations that we’re having now were some of the same conversations we had as coaches going into John’s last year too,” Kubiak elaborated to the Associated Press. The implications of this possibly being Peyton’s final year rang loud and clear to the attentive listener.

Brett Favre began operating on a pitch count in practice as early as 33 years old and Peyton once sought out Brett’s advice on this several years ago. However, the pressure of weak defenses, mediocre offensive lines and a poor run game many of the subsequent seasons likely kept Peyton from feeling he could walk out said advice.

Jul 31, 2015; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) prepares to throw during training camp activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

While there may be some similar questions surrounding this Broncos team, Peyton seems to be on board now stating to the AP “the staff’s trying to take care of the guys physically. But when we’re out there working, we’re working. It makes a lot of sense.”

Not only will the limited workload aid in Manning not breaking down as much at the end of the year, Kubiak’s entire offensive scheme is exactly what the doctor ordered for the aging first-ballot Hall of Fame QB.

The Broncos will feature a zone running scheme that has been proven to work since the 1990’s and most recently saw career backup RB Justin Forsett finish as the fifth leading rusher in the NFL in 2014.

Kubiak is both protecting his man in practice by giving him limited reps and every three-to-four days off, but also with his offensive scheme by not needing him to throw as often.

A physically fresh and emotionally unburdened — via limited postseason and overall expectations — Manning spells trouble for the rest of the NFL.

While his numbers will not be nearly as gaudy as in year’s past, Manning is indeed poised to have his best overall season as a field general from start to finish if Kubiak’s plan and system is afforded the opportunity to play out.

Will Reeve is a contributing writer to NFL Spin Zone, you can follow him on Twitter @WillReeveJr or connect with him on Facebook here.

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