It was an odd day at the new Mile High Stadium, Sunday.
Despite taking control of the all-time lead in passing yards as a QB in the NFL, Peyton Manning accrued the worst registered QB rating since the stat was invented, going 5-for-15 with 35 yards and 4 interceptions before being pulled for the backup.
On his first pass attempt of the game, Manning was picked off by Marcus Peters, the Chiefs’ top overall draft pick in 2015. Eventually, Manning would secure his record, throwing a short out-route to a receiver and resulting in a stoppage of play to commemorate the record being broken (originally held by Brett Favre).
Manning clearly wasn’t enthused about stopping the action in the middle of a drive, but did so anyway and acted with class to everyone congratulating him, including the Kansas City Chiefs.
Whether or not his rhythm was gone, or a supposed torn planters facia kept him off balance, no one will know, but needless to say, it was Manning’s worst offensive performance of his career.
The Chiefs, on the other hand, looked complete in sync with one another, only failing to convert drives into touchdowns as opposed to field goals, but with 4 interceptions, and two or three more which were dropped, the defense put on a display for the ages.
With Peters, Shawn Smith, Derrick Johnson, and Eric Berry in coverage, the Chiefs made it tough for Manning to every find openings for his receivers. On top of that, constant pressure from Tamba Hali and Justin Houston made it virtually impossible to ever get a good read on a downfield throw, often overthrowing receivers.
It has become clear that as a general statement, Peyton Manning is, for all intents and purposes, at the end of his time as a productive NFL QB.
The Broncos will ride him for as long as they can, and when his foot is healed and he has had significant rest, Manning will step out on the field again, despite many predicted he may done for good.
There will be games where Manning will perform like the player we have seen for years, but in the grand scheme of things, his presence on the field may start to cause more harm than good, and should he have another performance like the one he had against the Chiefs, Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff, along with GM John Elway, will have a serious decision to make.