Peyton Manning Proving Neck Isn't An Issue Anymore

By Sam Horn
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning has reached the pinnacle in his illustrious career. Ever since the University of Tennessee product landed in Indianapolis, Manning has made a lasting impression on the NFL. And it’s definitely been a positive one.

Manning has set a new standard for the quarterback position. In 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning posted a 141-67 record. He led the league in passing in 2000 and 2003 while with the Colts and even won a Super Bowl ring in 2007.

However, his career took a detour that no one expected.

In 2011, Manning received several neck surgeries to repair a herniated disc and a pinched nerve. When Manning was younger, doctors were afraid that his neck curvature was a potential problem. Turns out they were right. It seemed like the end of Manning’s celebrated career when he couldn’t throw 15 yards post-surgery. But then again, this is Peyton Manning we’re talking about.

After being cut by the Colts post-surgery, the Denver Broncos took a chance with the veteran. All Manning needed was one chance, and he’s taken full advantage of it by rising to unprecedented heights in 2013.

With the Broncos, Manning managed to throw for 5,477 yards in 2013. To complement his highly successful aerial attack, Manning threw 55 touchdowns this past season. Both of those marks are NFL records. Manning’s success this season begs the question: How was he able to accomplish these incredible feats at 37 years of age?

That question is hardly answerable. It confuses even the expert analysts. While the analysts can’t believe Manning has conquered his neck issues, they are certain of one thing: Manning is the best at his position. There’s no doubting that notion.

The NFL has a sizable crop of talented quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers (when he’s healthy). While those quarterbacks have been successful at the professional level, Manning seems to stand head and shoulders above them. He is Zeus while Brady, Brees and Rodgers are demigods.

Super Bowl XLVIII is a great opportunity for Manning to further garnish his Hall of Fame resume. While the Seattle Seahawks present a formidable pass defense, Manning is up to the challenge. He doesn’t study multiple hours of game film per night for nothing.

If the Broncos organization has learned anything from Manning’s two-year career with the franchise it’s that he’s not going to waste this opportunity on Sunday. After all, he only needed one chance.

Sam Horn is a Seattle Seahawks writer for Follow him on Twitter @samhorn7 or “Like” him on Facebook.

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