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QB Peyton Manning - Denver Broncos

6-5, 230Born: 3-24-1976College: TennesseeDrafted: Round 1, pick 1

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Photo: Ron Chenoy, US Presswire

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He is listed as probable on this week's official injury report.

News you need to know

General News (Fri Feb 5): practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this week.

General News (Thu Feb 4): practiced fully on Thursday. Manning is looking as good as he has all season and threw several deep passes during practice Thursday, February 4, according to head coach Gary Kubiak.

General News (Wed Feb 3): practiced fully on Wednesday.

General News (Wed Feb 3): will be given plenty of time to make a decision on his future following Super Bowl 50, according to general manager John Elway. "He's got plenty of time, whatever time he needs. I think it's never going to be a quick decision. You don't want it to be. It's one that's going to change his life ... and it's always a hard decision," Elway said, "so we'll give him plenty of time." Also, Manning said he's been told he'll need a hip replacement surgery "down the road" and that he'll try to handle any potential issues with his neck and back in the future. Finally, Manning is receiving interest from the Los Angeles Rams if he decides to play in 2016. The Rams have had internal discussions about pursuing Manning if he opts to play next season, according to a source.

General News (Tue Feb 2): conceded that his arm isn't as strong as it used to be entering Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers. "My arm is what it is," Manning said. "Honestly, my having a little time off to heal my foot helped some of the other parts. ... My arm feels OK. My arm has not been the same since I was injured four years ago. ... If I could throw left-handed it would be a lot easier. ... It's just different than it was. ... It's got a few yards on it, miles on it, however you want to say it." Manning is expected to retire after Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers. "The reality is he let the cat out of the bag a little bit," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said. "I also know he has told close friends that he expects this to be his last game as well."

Week 21: vs Carolina Panthers

All QB vs CAR

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. According to Bucky Brooks at NFL.com, Peyton Manning targeted 62% of his passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage during the regular season, and he connected on 69.9% of those throws with four touchdowns and nine interceptions. During the playoffs, 63% of his throws are of the short variety, with 35% of his throws between 10 and 19 yards, which was up from 24% during the regular season. Manning has thrown 20 of his 24 pass attempts at intermediate range to the right or middle of the field during the playoffs. The takeaway here is that Manning has thrown 98% of his passes to short or intermediate range during the two full playoff games that he has played since returning to the starting role in Week 17 of regular season. Here's what he's done in the playoffs - vs. Pittsburgh, Manning compiled 21/37 for 222 yards passing, zero TDs or interceptions thrown, with one successful two point conversion thrown to Demaryius Thomas (eight for 4/40/0). Emmanuel Sanders led the team in receiving with eight targets for 5/85/0 receiving - nobody else on the Broncos had over 40 yards receiving in the Divisional Round. During the Conference Championship showdown with New England, Manning threw a 21-yard and 12-yard TD pass to Owen Daniels - 2/33/2 receiving total for Daniels - Daniels added several yards-after-catch to the actual tosses from Manning, and Manning wound up with 17/32 for 176 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown. Demaryius Thomas was awful with seven targets for 2/12/0 receiving, while Emmanuel Sanders led the team with eight targets for 5/62/0 receiving. Nobody other than Daniels or Sanders went over 20 yards receiving during the contest. The Denver passing attack is anemic entering the Super Bowl, friends. As Manning himself noted on February 2: 'My arm is what it is. Honestly, my having a little time off to heal my foot helped some of the other parts... My arm feels OK. My arm has not been the same since I was injured four years ago... If I could throw left-handed it would be a lot easier... It's just different than it was... It's got a few yards on it, miles on it, however you want to say it.' The good news for Broncos' fans is that Manning has reined in the interceptions thrown (he hasn't thrown an interception since getting back in the game Week 17). The bad news is that, as Carolina showed against Arizona two weeks ago, the Panthers are a ball-hawking secondary and they have compiled six interceptions (most among playoff teams) and eight sacks (second-most among playoff teams) over their two playoff games, to go with their 24 interceptions (first in the NFL in this category during the season) and 44 sacks generated during regular season. Manning threw nine TDs and 17 interceptions during his time on the field during regular season. Carolina comes into this game with injuries to some key defensive players - defensive end Jared Allen is working hard to overcome his fractured foot and play in Super Bowl 50, but he simply may not be healthy enough to play on Sunday - outside linebacker Thomas Davis broke his arm in the NFC Championship game, had surgery to put a plate to strengthen the fracture, and will have to wear some combination of cast/soft-cast/brace if he is well enough to play in the contest against Denver. Davis said on Monday, February 1 that he could be limited in Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos, but he has every intention of playing in the game. He returned to practice and used a cast Monday. The practice status of each defender warrants attention during the late-week practices leading up to the Super Bowl. The Panthers finished regular season ranked 11th in the NFL averaging 234.5 net passing yards allowed per game, but they had less TDs allowed (21) than interceptions generated (24) - in fact, the Panthers turnover ratio of +20 was first in the NFL by far, and they led the NFL in interceptions as noted above. Over the final four weeks of regular season, Carolina wound up averaging 19.6 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (in the middle of the NFL range at 17th); averaged 22.4 fantasy points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers (18th); but were seventh-least in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends (5.7 per game on average). So far during the playoffs the Panthers have averaged 276 yards passing allowed per game (but they have won by jumping out to big leads, winning 49-15 vs. Arizona and 31-24 vs. Seattle - both teams had to throw the ball a lot to try and compete with the Panthers), with four passing scores given out vs. six interceptions generated. Carson Palmer looked dreadful in Charlotte two weeks ago (23/40 for 227 net yards passing, one TD and four interceptions thrown, with three sacks taken for -8 yards). In the Divisional round, Russell Wilson finished with 31/48 for 325 net yards passing, three TDs and two interceptions, with five sacks taken for -41 yards. The Panthers have been hard on both quarterbacks they've seen during the playoffs. This looks like a very tough matchup for the aging Manning and his receiving corps.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDFumLPts
17 vs SD 29 5 9 69 0 0 2 -2 0 0 3.25
19 vs PIT 0 21 37 222 0 0 2 -1 0 0 10
20 vs NE 68 17 32 176 2 0 3 11 0 1 16.9
21 vs CAR PROJ-Dodds * 23 39 * * * 1 * * * *
21 vs CAR PROJ-Tremblay * 24 40 * * * 2 * * * *
21 vs CAR PROJ-Bloom * 17 29 * * * 0 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 20 vs NE (17 / 32 / 176 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 11 / 0 rush)

Manning looked better than he has in a long time during the first half of Sunday's win over the New England Patriots. He still won't be dropping any 50-yard bombs of course, but he was accurate, decisive and sharp - more than he has been in some time. His receivers did a good job of finding the seams in the defense as well, such as on the first of tight end Owen Daniels' two touchdown receptions. On the play, Daniels slipped behind the middle linebacker, and as soon as he did so, Manning threw the ball. Daniels was wide open, with the linebackers trailing him and the safety out of position. He caught the ball just short of the goal line and easily scored. Manning did have a very early blunder which cost his team as he threw a screen pass which was ruled a backwards pass. That's considered a live ball and the Patriots recovered, shortly later scoring a touchdown. Had Ronnie Hillman played the whistle (which was blown after the Patriots had recovered, or caught the ball (it was a bit wide, but within his ability to catch), then the ball would have remained with the Broncos. Manning also was bailed out of a few underthrown balls by Emmanuel Sanders, who has emerged as the go-to guy in the passing offense. Manning's second touchdown was a nice fade to Daniels and showed some good touch in dropping it right where Daniels was going to be on the route. The second half was more difficult for Manning and the passing offense, both of which were far more erratic. As the Patriots were able to create more pressure, Manning had to rush his reads and delivery, which in turn caused more passes to go awry. Manning was lucky that New England was unable to generate turnovers, and you have to feel that after two games of this, he is due to get picked off any time now.

2015 Week 19 vs PIT (21 / 37 / 222 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)

After much ink was spilled over whether Peyton Manning was the right quarterback to guide the Broncos in the postseason, Manning came out against the Pittsburgh Steelers and played arguably better than he had all year. His throws still looked labored and soft, but Manning did an excellent job of reading the defense and catching it in the wrong coverage, finding receivers who were so open that a slow delivery didn't matter. While his statistics may not look like much, Manning was held back by a bevy of drops from players across the entire roster; depending on how strict or loose the definition of "drop" is used, Manning was afflicted by anywhere between five and nine drops on well-delivered passes, many of them coming on drive-killing third downs, (and one fourth down where the ball was delivered on the numbers but jarred loose from the receiver by the defender). At the same time, Manning took great care of the football, avoiding sacks when Pittsburgh brought pressure and only throwing one pass that had a chance to be intercepted.

2015 Week 17 vs SD (5 / 9 / 69 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / -2 / 0 rush)

Active for the first time since his disastrous game against Kansas City in week 10, Peyton Manning figured to rest his ailing foot in advance of the playoffs. Instead, an early deficit against the San Diego Chargers with home field advantage pressed Manning into service. While everyone is naturally curious how healthy Manning really is, he unfortunately wasn't asked to do enough to get a great read. On some plays, his mechanics looked a bit awkward, notably kicking his foot up after a short pass over the middle. On the other hand, while his deep passes still fluttered and hung up, Manning made terrific reads, throwing the ball cautiously wide of any defenders and finding receivers who were wide open. With a bye secured, Peyton Manning will have another two weeks to heal his ailing foot while coach Gary Kubiak decides who will get the start for Denver in the playoffs.

2015 Week 10 vs KC (5 / 20 / 35 / 0 / 4 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Many words will be written about the irony of Peyton Manning being benched against the Kansas City Chiefs on the same day that he set the NFL's all-time career passing yardage record. Some comparisons will be made between Manning's season so far and the final season of the man who previously held the record; Favre's 10 touchdowns against 16 interceptions in his first nine games of 2010 are quite similar to Manning's 9 touchdowns against 17 interceptions in his first nine games of 2015. Historical significance aside, Peyton Manning turned in what was easily the worst game of what has easily been the worst season of his 17-year career. 5 completions on 20 attempts for 35 yards paints a grim enough picture without acknowledging the four interceptions, (and handful of other passes that easily could have been picked. His errors ranged from mechanical, (two underthrown passes downfield that landed nowhere near his intended target), to the mental, (failing to recognize a Chiefs' defender in his passing lane), to, admittedly, bad luck, (a receiver fell down in the middle of his cut after being "helped" by a a nearby defender). Is this the death knell for Manning's record-setting, award-winning career? Reports out of Denver suggest that Manning was far more hurt than he was letting on, and that he was playing through a torn plantar fascia. Coach Gary Kubiak has already announced Manning will be inactive next week to heal. Perhaps, with history on the line, Manning rushed into the lineup before he was truly ready. Perhaps.

2015 Week 9 vs IND (21 / 36 / 281 / 2 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

A week after showing signs he might be turning the corner, Peyton Manning played closer to his typical 2015 form against the Indianapolis Colts, making risky throws, floating footballs, and generally lacking the surgical precision that he's been so famous for throughout his career. On his first interception, he badly overthrew a crossing pattern, floating the ball into the midst of three defenders with no Broncos in sight. On his second, he forced a risky throw to Demaryius Thomas on an out route, trusting his receiver to make a play, only for Thomas to stumble and get beaten to the ball. While his lows were very low, Peyton also displayed some positive traits in tough situations. Of the 13 third downs Manning faced, nine were of 8 yards or longer as Denver's running game struggled to find purchase and Manning was routinely asked to bail the offense out. Manning converted on four of his nine third-and-very-long attempts, (and three of his four third-and-manageable attempts), keeping drives alive by himself. Included in that total was a deep 64-yard bomb to Emmanuel Sanders to convert 3rd-and-14 and get Denver back into the game. While he may not be the dominant force he once was, Peyton Manning is still a credible quarterback and an asset to his offense.

2015 Week 8 vs GB (21 / 29 / 340 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Taking good advantage of the bye week, Denver entered the game against Green Bay with a plan for how to fix the offense in the short term and the long term. In the short term, Peyton Manning victimized the Packers with a series of intermediate crossing routes for 10+ yard gain after 10+ yard gain, taking a break from the steady stream of jabs to launch an occasional haymaker down the field. In the long term, Manning and head coach Gary Kubiak seem to have reached some sort of consensus on how best to tailor scheme to Manning's current skillset. While the offense still called for a few rollouts, they were done more selectively and left Manning in more of a position to succeed. While Manning's deep accuracy is still spotty, (and several of those effective crossers were thrown a touch too high, forcing the receiver to leave his feet to haul them in), the quarterback and the play caller did a good job at diagnosing weaknesses pre-snap and leaving Manning in a position where he didn't need a perfect throw to win the matchup. While Manning was once again held without a touchdown, his apparent comfort in the offense should be viewed as a huge positive sign for his production going forward.

2015 Week 6 vs CLE (26 / 48 / 290 / 1 / 3 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Manning who had thrown more interceptions than touchdowns through five games, only widened that margin with three picks vs. one lone touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns. While one of the interceptions was only marginally his fault, as a pass slightly behind Ronnie Hillman went right through his back's hands and into the arms of a waiting linebacker, Manning made a few truly questionable decisions. On his first interception, for instance, Manning threw to a well-covered receiver and didn't even see the linebacker lurking underneath in coverage. Manning made another terrible decision, flipping a short pass right in front of a waiting linebacker on 3rd-and-20 in the shadow of his own goal line, though thankfully for his team he escaped that one without yet another pick 6. For all the bad, (and there was plenty), Manning did have a few terrific throws, including a deep shot to Emmanuel Sanders 20 yards downfield that hit him in stride, allowing Sanders to accelerate away and run 75 yards for Denver's lone offensive touchdown of the game. Manning also threw a few beautiful balls to Demaryius Thomas late in the game, one of them a strike fifteen yards downfield with nothing but green grass in the picture, only to have Thomas drop what would have been a huge gain. Overall, Manning made a few more nice throws than he had through five weeks, but not nearly as many as his offense will need going forward.

2015 Week 5 vs OAK (22 / 35 / 266 / 0 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Another week, another reminder that Peyton Manning's exceptional career is drawing to a close. Unable to get away with the risky passes he once has and unable to throw deep without a seeming herculean effort, Manning is forced to anticipate his receivers even more, leading to plenty of errant throws. On his first interception of the day, tight end Owen Daniels was jammed at the line and Manning didn't read it in time, throwing the ball directly into the waiting arms of a Raiders defensive back, (with two others in the vicinity). On his second interception, he launched a ball deep at the limits of his arm and it hung in the air too long, giving the defense plenty of time to play it. While his 266 yards look like a respectable total, Manning and the Broncos find their offense coming in fits and starts, and most tellingly have been unable to sustain anything upon reaching the red zone. Denver's kicker finished the afternoon with a pair of field goals under 25 yards, including a 20-yarder at the end of a "drive" that started in the red zone after a turnover.

2015 Week 4 vs MIN (17 / 27 / 213 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / -2 / 0 rush)

At this point, Peyton Manning's struggles have been well documented. Four games into the 2015 season, he shows little sign of regaining the dominant, unstoppable form he showed as recently as midseason of last year. Instead, he seems determined to leverage his experience to drag a few more passable performances out of his failing body. Against the Vikings, Peyton spent much of the day alternating between throws that it looked like he wouldn't be able to make, but did, and throws it looked like he would be able to make, but didn't. Included in that total was his first interception, an ill-advised throw he tried to rifle past linebacker Anthony Barr, but which he hasn't had the arm strength to make in years. Manning continues to face pressure at a shocking rate, given his history, as his patchwork line is clearly overmatched and he's no longer able to cover for it like he once could. Still, as he has in recent weeks, Manning managed to get into a flow in the latter half, negate much of the pass rush, and move the ball. It hasn't been as much as we've typically seen from him, but paired with Denver's dominant defense this year, it has been enough.

2015 Week 3 vs DET (31 / 42 / 324 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

Peyton Manning was hardly in vintage form, but after two poor outings to start the year, his "pretty decent" showing against the Detroit Lions was a welcome sight. His mechanics still seem labored as he is forced to use his entire body to generate power on his deep throws, and the result is spotty accuracy beyond fifteen yards. While he had previously been consistently overthrowing his targets, against Detroit he had a few notable underthrows where the ball hung up in the air a little bit. Despite the ugliness of Manning's performance, it was still his most consistently effective outing of the season. Manning's one interception came on a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage, and for the most part he made fewer risky or questionable decisions. He also seemed to be a bit more aggressive attacking the intermediate-to-deep areas, including a crucial touchdown on 4th-and-1 to end the first half; Demaryius Thomas ran a deep "go" route, Manning heaved the ball up for grabs, and Thomas was able to outmuscle the much smaller defender for the underthrown pass, avoid the tackle, and walk into the end zone for a touchdown.

2015 Week 2 vs KC (26 / 45 / 256 / 3 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Peyton Manning looked better mechanically to begin the game against Kansas City, but early results were a continuation of last week's poor showing against Baltimore. Manning finally threw a beautiful deep pass, only to have it knocked out of his receiver's hands. Against a blitz, Manning threw to Demaryius Thomas on a hot route, but Thomas was slow looking back for the football, the throw was off-target and behind him, and the result for the second consecutive week was an interception returned for a touchdown. Shortly afterwards, Denver switched to a more shotgun-heavy offense to help get Manning comfortable. It paid immediate dividends in the form of dramatically reduced pressure, but Manning was still spotty with his delivery. He comically overthrew an easy dump-off and was almost intercepted, and had a few other near-picks that were dropped by the defense. He had flashes of quality play, leading the announcers to praise him at one point for throwing three consecutive accurate passes-- something that would have been taken as a given from a younger Peyton Manning. Despite the uneven performance, Manning came alive when it mattered most, throwing several do-or-die intermediate passes in traffic to move Denver down the field for the game tying score. For two minutes, he managed to roll back the clock. Questions of whether this was a fleeting reminder of what was or a herald of things yet to come would-- perhaps mercifully-- be left for another day, as Denver's suffocating defense scored the winning points before Peyton could again be asked to place the team's fate on his aging shoulders.

2015 Week 1 vs BAL (24 / 40 / 175 / 0 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

Preseason struggles have historically been very common for Peyton Manning offenses, so when Denver's players discussed how their offense would come together, they merited the benefit of the doubt. After an anemic first game, the benefit must be wearing thin. Manning was able to generate power on his throws, but he did it with labored body mechanics that threw off his accuracy and left him consistently overthrowing his intended target on passes of more than 10 yards. Additionally, Manning showed little functional mobility, frequently giving up and going to the turf at the first sign of pressure and struggling to set his feet in time after the rollouts that are such a signature of new coach Gary Kubiak's offense. One such throw was a softball over the middle that hung up in the air until it was tipped by a defensive back, intercepted, and returned for a touchdown.

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Latest News

Broncos | Peyton Manning quiet in Super Bowl win (Sun Feb 7, 11:15 PM) - Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning completed 13 of 23 passes for 141 yards and an interception in a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 Sunday, Feb. 7.

Our View: The Broncos aren't built around Manning anymore. The defense is the heart of the team, and that side of the ball came through in a big way against the Panthers. Manning didn't have to do much as the defense carried him to victory. We expect him to retire and go out on top.
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Broncos | Big bonus for Peyton Manning? (Sun Feb 7, 03:12 PM) - Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning will receive a $2 million bonus if the Broncos win the Super Bowl.

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Broncos | Peyton Manning making history (Sun Feb 7, 02:57 PM) - Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning will be the first quarterback ever to start multiple Super Bowls for different teams.

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Broncos | Peyton Manning coming back? (Sat Feb 6, 09:26 PM) - Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning's former coach and current Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator, Clyde Christensen, isn't 'buying' the idea that the Super Bowl will be Manning's last game. 'I know how much he loves doing what he does,' Christensen said. 'He sometimes forgets and still gives me projects and forgets that he has a coach there. I still get a glimpse of how much this guy enjoys football like he does, enjoys the quarterback position like he does and I wouldn't count on him bowing out too early.'

Our View: We're going to politely disagree with Christensen here. Manning's body isn't the same as it used to be, and he's wearing down with age...just like all the greats do. If Manning doesn't feel like he can compete at a high level, then he'll likely hang up his cleats for good.
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Broncos | Peyton Manning, Owen Daniels probable (Fri Feb 5, 06:30 PM) - Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot) and TE Owen Daniels (knees) both practiced in full all week and are probable to face the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

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