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Old 10-02-2012, 12:19 PM   #68
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Some positive stuff on PM from Simmons' colleague Bill Barnwell.

Are we really getting down on Manning after games against the Steelers, Falcons, and Texans? Atlanta and Houston are arguably the two best teams in the league, and the Steelers aren't exactly chopped french fries and pastrami. The moment Manning got a respite from his tough schedule and got to play a terrible pass defense, he was phenomenal and made the game look easy. Peyton will face one of the league's toughest schedules this season, but he's going to look worse against the tough teams than he does against the awful ones, as always. When Manning comes back from his bye and has a seven-game stretch that includes games against the Saints, Bengals, Panthers, Chiefs, Bucs, and Raiders, he's going to look great.

In truth, the reality is that the Broncos have already adapted the Manning offense from Indianapolis to take some of the strain and stress off of what Manning needs to do. Against the Raiders, virtually every one of his passes in the first half was within 57 yards of the line of scrimmage. Unless they have to throw downfield to catch up, the Denver offense mostly consists of screens, swing passes, and pick plays that produce short crossing patterns. You could count the number of times Manning threw more than 10 yards downfield in the air against the Raiders on Sunday on one hand, and it wasn't because he wasn't able to; it was because the Raiders played super-conservative behind their pass rush and gave Manning a free checkdown on virtually every play.

Peyton Manning isn't the same guy he used to be, but the idea that he can't throw the ball is absurd. Expect the new Peyton Manning to be more inconsistent than the old model going forward, but he's certainly good enough to keep the Broncos competitive in 2012.
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