Is Peyton Manning Finished in Denver?

With this week’s news of Brock Osweiler taking over the starting QB role for the Denver Broncos, one can’t help but wonder if last week’s 5/20 35 yard 0 TD 4 INT game is that last for Peyton Manning – at least in a Broncos Uniform.

You could make a strong case that Peyton remained the starter for as long as he did, based on his name alone. Consider these anonymous stat lines:

QB 1:

  • 59.0% Completion Percentage
  • 179.4 Passing Yards/Game
  • 1.20 TD:INT Ratio


  • 56.6% Completion Percentage
  • 186.4 Passing Yards/Game
  • 1.20 TD: INT Ratio


  • 65.0% Completion Percentage
  • 271.0 Passing Yards/Game
  • 2.75 TD:INT Ratio

Pretty awful, but nothing too crazy right? Let’s find out who they are:

QB1: Colin Kaepernick – Benched in Week 9

QB2: Nick Foles – Benched in Week 11

QB3: Josh McCown – Benched in Week 10

Each one of the starting quarterbacks listed above was benched because their play was deemed too awful, even for a team that is out of the playoff hunt.

Peyton Manning:

  • 59.9% Completion Percentage
  • 242.2 Passing Yards/Game
  • 0.52 TD:INT Ratio

When you put it all together, the three quarterbacks with significant playing time who got benched this year all greatly outperformed Peyton Manning – so why did it take so long for Manning to get benched?

Rumors are swirling that Manning hid the extent of his injuries, knowing he was so close to breaking the all-time passing yards record. Furthermore, the Broncos weren’t about to be known as the franchise who benched a legend when he was so close to reaching the milestone, so they let him play through. It was easy to hide Manning when the team was 7-0 and the defense was playing lights out, but now that the defense has regressed and Manning’s poor play is losing them games, the Broncos are kicking him to the curb in favor of the younger and (hopefully) more promising Osweiler.

So the question for the Broncos is “where do you go from here?” Manning’s poor play has been apparent all season long, even when he was “healthy” so what chance is there that healing his latest injuries will allow him to return to his old form? Osweiler can’t really be so bad that he throws nearly twice as many interceptions as touchdowns, can he? Is there any chance that the Broncos hobble Peyton out for one last showdown with Tom Brady (who is just 1 year younger by the way)? Whatever the case turns out to be, I think we as fans need to consider the possibility that we just saw Peyton Manning play his last game.