There is no doubt that many throughout the NFL and its fans believed that Peyton Manning would come back from a nineteen month layoff after four neck surgeries and not be the same quarterback. The Denver Broncos and Executive VP John Elway met with Manning, saw him throw and basically took a gamble that even a Manning at 80% was better than Tim Tebow running the offense.
While others may have waxed poetic about Manning being the same QB that he was as an Indianapolis Colt, there really was no way to tell until he took the field and silenced the critics. After six games and now coming off a bye week, I think it is safe to say that Peyton Manning looks every bit the Manning of old and should be considered the frontrunner for the NFL MVP award at the end of the season.
Make no mistake about it, the Broncos are not even 3-3 with Tebow as their QB in 2012. At best, they might have been 1-5 while playing this very same schedule. Whatever possessed Elway and the Broncos brass to make this move might turn into one of the greatest football decisions ever. Manning through six games is 154-227 for 1808 yards, 14TDs, 4INTs, 67.8% comp and a 105.0 rating. These numbers are some of the best in the game, and are being accomplished by a 36 year old veteran that some considered done after missing all of last season. Not to mention the greatest comeback in MNF history while down by 24 points to the San Diego Chargers.
With the remaining schedule the Broncos have, it is legitimate to say that they can win eight of ten which would give them an 11-5 record. That would be a three game swing from 2011 when they backed into the playoffs because everyone else in the AFC West wanted to play golf instead of going on to the second season. Just keep in mind as the season progresses that the defense will get better, the receivers will become more in sync and the opponents get relatively easier. If the Broncos can win 11 games, it should be a no brainer that Manning should get the MVP, regardless of what happens come playoff time.
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