Furthering this point, at 36 years old Peyton Manning will be the oldest starting quarterback in the NFL, unless Matt Hasselbeck (37) wins the job back from Jake Locker in Tennessee. Its rubbish to believe the rhetoric that quarterbacks out age other positions in the NFL – its just as uncommon as any other position. Ben Roethlisberger is 30 and already showing signs of breaking down. Carson Palmer is 32 and given equal scrutiny toward his ability to perform. Only Tom Brady, who will be 35 this season, is vaunted as unscathed, though it is well known that if a defense can hit him a few times, the Pro-Bowl quarterback can get just as rattled as chain link fence. Keep perspective: most other quarterbacks in the NFL today are nearly ten years Manning’s junior.
Another funny little fact: only three quarterbacks 36 years old or more have won a play-off game in the last ten years: Kurt Warner and Brett Favre. True, both did it for back-to-back seasons, but these are the exceptions to the rule.
So with the concept of building a team around Manning being unlikely, this is a move to win here-and-now. That’s also funny because while last year’s team was play-off caliber, it was with the anomaly quarterback Tim Tebow under center; a player who possesses the absolute opposite style of play from Peyton Manning. Remember that in 2011, the Broncos’ defense was bottom of the barrel, and while Von Miller had a sensational rookie outing, the whole squad’s success was very much linked to the offense running the Option and burning significant minutes at a time off the clock, which kept them as fresh as possible. This year, the same defense is going to be expected to play much longer on the field, regardless of how Manning controls the offense, something which will have a significant impact on how that squad is capable of slugging it out with other heavy weight teams. This is on top of the fact that in critical positions like running back, wide receiver and the span of offensive line; Denver simply isn’t what Indianapolis ever was, especially coming off a ground-and-pound season.
But the biggest laugh of all is the one that will be had five years from now by Peyton Manning himself, because regardless of how these next five year’s turn out Manning will be nearly a hundred million dollars richer, a future Hall of Fame quarterback and a hero to thousands of fans. It’s impossible to fault him for any of this.
But you can fault ESPN… and you should. With a NFL that is saturated with young quarterback talent either setting records in the case of Cam Newton, defying expectations like Andy Dalton or TJ Yates, or simply getting their first legitimate off-season and starting role like Christian Ponder and Jake Locker; it’s not funny at all to see the majority of headlines remaining the same as they have for the past decade. After all, what’s the point of a whole station dedicated to the NFL, if all we see are Denver quarterbacks, past and present?