Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Denver's Dumb Decision To Keep Peyton Manning









Back in the 1800s, hard-boiled cynic P.T.Barnum, convinced that most people are gullible birdbrains, made his famous declaration, that a sucker is born every minute. Unfortunately for Denver Bronco fans, some of those suckers wound up running their team. The management was just suckered into signing QB Peyton Manning for another season.

Talk about your monumental blunders. Talk about guys wearing blinders. Talk about guys with their heads in the sand.

It was clear at the end of last season--that Manning is finished as a starting QB. He has a dead arm. He blamed his horrible second-half tailspin on a bum leg, but that was nonsense. He's now saying his injury has healed so he'll be the old Peyton again this season. Bull crap. He may have just passed his physical, but they're not going to measure his arm strength. After all those years of bullet passes, his arm has simply died.

He ended last season with a whimper, leading Denver to a playoff loss to the Colts, registering a mere 4.59 yards per catch in that game, one of the worst ypc tallies of his career. He was throwing more picks than TDs and couldn't throw with any accuracy beyond ten yards. His long passes had zero zip. What killed their offense is that linebackers and secondary players on opposition defenses were crowding around the line of scrimmage, playing medium and deep passes casually because they knew Manning was lofting easy-to-defend floaters in those areas. That crowd around the line of scrimmage also decreased the effectiveness of the excellent RB C.J. Anderson.

I'll say it again, like I did in a recent post. Manning's arm is dead. He'll be 39 later this month. Age is not only catching up with him, it's kicking his butt.

Manning took a pay cut, from $19 million to $15 million. That's supposed to be a bargain? Well, it's really robbery. He's worth maybe a third of that right now. At this point Manning is merely a decent back-up QB, nothing more.

The boneheads in the Broncos front office will learn the hard way. Here's how this drama will play out--guaranteed. Manning will look OK, with limited work and coddling, in the preseason and maybe in the first few games. Then that arm will flame out, just like it did last season, but only much sooner this time, since he's older and the arm is weaker. He'll start throwing picks and powder puff passes and the Broncos will start losing. Backup QB Brock Osweiler, who's underdeveloped because control-freak Manning was hogging all the playing time, is not ready to be a starting QB. The revamped offensive line will be a negative since it won't have had time to jell. The defense is very good but not good enough to carry a team with a wilting offense. That extra burden will break the defense.

New coach Gary Kubiak will wonder what the hell he got himself into. New Chicago Bears head coach John Fox, who coached Denver last season but was fired after the team tanked in the playoffs, will be snickering and relieved that he got out of that Bronco mess.

The front-office folks who signed Manning to another year will finally fess up and admit: "We got suckered."