Photo of Peyton Manning by Michele Moore. Used under Wikimedia Creative Commons License
Can Peyton Manning regain his old form with the Denver Broncos? That is a question all AFC West fans will be asking themselves as the 2012 NFL season approaches. The Broncos did the right thing in signing Peyton Manning even if flops. Peyton Manning gives them hope, sells tickets and gave them a way to show Tim Tebow the door without a huge fan frenzy against the team.
Now we have to wonder if Peyton Manning is the same guy who played so well for the Colts. Or is Peyton Manning the latest of Hall of Fame type quarterbacks to play too long and to switch teams. Johnny Unitas sucked as a Charger, Joe Namath was ugly as a Ram. Joe Montana played well with the Chiefs but never sniffed a Super Bowl with them.
Even before missing a season due to injury Peyton Manning was declining in skills a bit or was he? Peyton Manning has always been an enigma to me. Was Peyton Manning overrated because he only won one Super Bowl? Or was Manning underrated because he took a sorry franchise to the ultimate win and had them competitive every year?
I think Peyton Manning will play well for the Denver Broncos in 2012. Clearly he has a better supporting cast around him than he has with the Colts in recent seasons. Manning is the defacto offensive coordinator of the Broncos but this is a John Fox team. Look for Manning to take advantage of the Broncos good run game to take some pressure off of him.
The Broncos defense is better than what Peyton saw inIndianapolisof late. This Broncos unit is switching to the 4-3 defense under new coordinator Jack Del Rio. John Fox andDel Riocan coach defense and Von Miller may thrive under them in his second NFL season.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos should be the odds on favorites to win the AFC West. The Chargers are getting flatter every year, the Chiefs are not there yet and the Raiders are well the Raiders.
The Broncos will have to get by the Texans, Ravens, Steelers and Patriots. Any one of those teams could end up representing the AFC in the Super Bowl; if they make the playoffs and Manning is healthy then they have a shot. The Broncos relish the underdog role in the playoffs and can be very dangerous late in the year with their running game.
I won’t be so bold to predict a Peyton Manning Super Bowl appearance but I won’t rule it out either. I think Manning was better than we thought he was and the Colts held him back.