Pain-ton Manning

Could 2015 be Manning's swansong?
Could 2015 be Manning’s swansong?

Welcome to 2015!

What an introduction it’s been this opening week of the NFL season.

Magnificent Mariota – his debut was almost perfect, and when was the last time the Titans racked up 42 points?!
Stuttering Seahawks – how ironic Marshawn Lynch was stopped on a fourth and one to lose in overtime to the Rams!
Cowboys Comeback – it was drama right until the end as Tony Romo led Dallas to a win with just two minutes left on the clock and a 72 yard drive.

One of the biggest stories of the weekend is a sad one. They say Father Time is undefeated and on this evidence it certainly looks like Peyton Manning’s career is tumbling off a cliff.

The Broncos QB, who has more NFL MVP honours than any other player, looked a shadow of his former self in last night’s 19-13 win against the Baltimore Ravens at Mile High.

Yes, he did come up against one of the league’s strongest defenses. And yes, his O-line isn’t the best in the league. But Manning looked sluggish and, let’s be frank, old.

It was the Peyton we saw in the winter of 2014. The reason for his decline late last season was because of injury. The form rolled into preseason and it was there for all to see last night.

Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are deep threats, but last night they were hardly used because Manning’s arm wasn’t strong enough. He simply couldn’t find them.

Fantasy owners who picked C.J. Anderson early in their drafts would have been rubbing their hands with glee in anticipation of this man being the one to carry the load from Denver’s veteran signal-caller. Instead he was more of a spectator. Anderson rushed for just 29 yards and had 19 yards in receptions, though it’ll probably be a few more weeks before he hits the waiver wires.

As for Peyton, it doesn’t get easier. He faces another solid defense at Arrowhead on Thursday night as Andy Reid and his Chiefs look to put an early dent into their divisional rivals’ play-off hopes.

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