Peyton Manning was on a record pace through the first month of the season. Are teams starting to figure him out or is Manning just putting less pressure on the gas?
Manning had his lowest statistical output of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that the future Hall of Fame quarterback should have torn to pieces. Instead he ended up with 295 yards passing two touchdowns and three total turnovers (two fumbles and one interception). Manning was fortunate to have Knowshon Moreno, who performed well especially in the red zone.
Did Manning take his foot off the gas in the game last night? I do not believe he did. The game of football is all about executing the game plan and there were moments in the game that Manning was not able to execute it. Someone didn’t execute on the play that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. As for the fumbles, he just needs to learn to hold on to the ball. That wasn’t executed twice and it almost cost the Denver Broncos.
Give credit to the Jaguars defense for putting pressure on Manning early. It is not known if the Jaguars got into Manning’s head early, but they came out of the gates showing the football world that they accepted the challenge of playing a top football team. They made plays to hang in there for a while, but two interceptions by Chad Henne took them out of it.
From what I have seen, Manning enjoys being challenged. It allows him to see what he needs to improve on. He wasn’t happy with his performance, but even then he knows there are some areas to improve. He caught himself with the foot lightly on the gas pedal instead of putting full pressure on it. I’m sure he will bounce back next week.
He’s got a lot of targets to rely on throughout this season. Manning will realize what happened on Sunday, study film and make major improvements going into next week’s showdown with the Indianapolis Colts.