Sunday, August 28, 2011

NFL Players to Watch 2011: Peyton Manning

For the first time in over ten years, the Indianapolis Colts have a question at quarterback. Colts QB, Peyton Manning is coming off of neck surgery and will most likely miss at least the first week of the regular season but its no doubt that you will see the veteran quarterback within the first few weeks of the regular season. The Colts have attempted to handle the situation by signing recently retired QB Kerry Collins.

Kerry Collins is a can be a very good replacement for Manning until he is able to return, but if the Colts are wanting to make the playoffs and possibly the Super Bowl, they will need the superstar QB at the reins. However, is Peyton Manning still the star we are use to seeing.

At age 35, Manning is almost in the twilight of his career. Although he had a career high in passing yds last season (4,700 yds), but Manning and the Colts struggled throughout the season and barely made the playoffs and lost to the Jets in the wild card.

Manning and several key players for the Colts are aging.  How long will this team be able to remain competitive? I think that the team that the Colts have right now is not quite good enough to make it back to the Super Bowl. Manning will need more help from his running game and his defense if he is going to return to the Super Bowl.

Another question is how long will Manning be able to beat the defenses he goes up against? Many people mention that Michael Vick is the most unique QB to ever play the game but there can be argument that it may very well be Peyton Manning. Manning plays football like a chess game. He tries to out-think the defenses before the snap instead of relying on his instincts during the play like the other QBs in the league. Most of the time, Manning does in fact beat the defense but when the defense can figure out what he is going to do then he and the Colts are in trouble ( i.e. pick in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl XLIV).

Unless there are major changes in the upcoming seasons, I feel that the Colts will fade into mediocrity. The offense needs to be more balanced, relying more on the run game and not Manning's arm.

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