By Bobby Fausett
Peyton Manning has 14 Pro Bowl selections (tied for the most), 5 NFL MVP’s (the most), a Super Bowl victory, a Super Bowl MVP, an NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award, not to mention holding the record for NFL all-time passing touchdowns, NFL all-time passing yards, tied for the most NFL regular season wins and NFL wins including playoffs, holding records for the most NFL passing yards in a season to go with the most NFL touchdowns passes in a season all in addition to a litany of other NFL records and awards Manning has earned over his illustrious career. If you ever get a few hours, you would be amazed by the sheer number of records and awards this quarterback holds, and yet, not one of them will help him beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 this Sunday.
Manning will face a team with the number 1 overall scoring offense in the NFL this past season and the number 6 overall ranked defense with regard to overall yardage. While the Denver Broncos can hold their own on the other side of the ball touting the number 1 defense in the NFL with regard to overall yardage, the Broncos Peyton Manning led offense falls far short on the offensive side of the ball ranking 19th in the NFL in overall offensive scoring. The past year’s team statistics certainly point to Manning falling short in this Super Bowl which would tie him for the most Super Bowl losses in NFL history, but win or lose, Manning’s future should be clear. He should retire.
Being carried this season by an impressive defense has allowed Manning to get one last shot at an NFL Championship. Manning should not expect the same next year. He will cost the Broncos $19 million dollars in cap salary next year which is a lot for a quarterback who threw for only 9 touchdowns while throwing for 17 interceptions in the regular season. There is no way the Broncos keep Manning without a serious restructuring of his contract needing as much money as possible to attempt to keep this defense in tact and based on how the Broncos kept an even healthy Manning on the sideline against the Chargers in Week 17, I wouldn’t expect the Broncos willing to allow Manning to start for them next year regardless of the Super Bowl outcome.
Irrespective of the Broncos decision, Manning wants his career to end with a Super Bowl. Even having elite teams in each of the past 4 years (including this one), only two of those years ended in Super Bowl games. With his offensive ability deteriorating, and the fact that it is extremely hard to win in the NFL, why would Manning believe his team next year would be able to maneuver through another playoff gauntlet to make it back to this game? He is smarter than this and win or lose, he should go out after having played in the greatest game of any sport, the Super Bowl. What a career.