It is quite clear that Peyton Manning’s remarkable career is nearing its end with the legendary quarterback set to get accustomed to a fringe role in the team as the Denver Broncos get ready for the playoffs.
The Broncos managed to seal a playoff berth in their overtime victory over the Cincinnati Bengals but it was clear from the onset that Manning would not be there and about as the Broncos get ready to earn a place in the Super Bowl.
Brock Osweiler may or may not enjoy a glittering career Manning enjoyed but the youngster is the quarterback his team believes in according to tight end, Owen Daniels.
“I know we’ll do well with whoever we’ve got,” Daniels said. “We’ve got a GOAT [greatest of all time] and a guy who’s up and coming and doing a great job for us. We’ll ride with whatever the deal is.”
Barring any injury to Osweiler, Broncos coach, Gary Kubiak is unlikely to bench the younger QB in favor of Manning who has already returned from injury and is still looking forward to playing some role in the postseason.
Indeed, much has been made out of that Al-Jazeera report that linked Manning to a human growth hormone.
“I just think it’s kind of a shame, the other stuff that’s going on with him,” Daniels said. “The guy’s done it right his whole career. We know he’s toward the end of his career now, and you hate to see people try to do stuff to legends like that. I believe in Peyton, 100 percent. I feel for him that he’s got to go through this, but if anyone can handle it, Peyton can.”
Now, the veteran has no choice but to hold his own and he must be wondering what he did to deserve such an ugly and cruel end to what should still be considered a glorious career. Manning clearly deserves better than what he has been given by the media of late.
His body has failed him while the team has moved on without him – without skipping a beat. His replacement has proven to show enough strength, determination and vitality to make sure his senior teammate is not missed at all. In his final football hours, Manning really deserves a great sending off and be remembered as the man who made Denver Broncos a great franchise.
If this is to be his final season, Manning would like nothing better than to see his team go all the way to the Super Bowl and judging by the way he is, the veteran would still be itching to get to the field one last time and roll back the years just for the sake of it.
In a season where his contemporary Kobe Bryant has had it much easier, Manning is being made to suffer which is a real shame.
He might not have won the Heisman Trophy but he is a five-time MVP who has won the Super Bowl ring, something that Dan Marino and other Hall of Famers never managed.
Until this year, he was on top of his game. However, at the age of 39, Manning is clearly a shadow of his former self but still deserves all the respect for what he has done for the game.