Denver Broncos Countdown to Kickoff: Peyton Manning - 1 Day

Doug Pensinger

This is it. The Final Countdown has begin. Appropriately, the countdown ends with Peyton Manning

The Rankings

Peyton Manning was unanimously selected #1 by the entire MHR staff.

From the Horses' Mouth

Pete Baron

If it wasn't painfully obvious who #1 is, it's Peyton Manning folks. He is the only player on our team that we can't afford to lose. Lose Manning, and the season is down the toilet. Lose anyone else, and life goes on. Why does life go on? Because we have Peyton Manning at the helm. He is worth 10 wins by himself. He isn't part of a system (like Tom Brady) so that if he were to be lost for the year, we could still go 11-5. No, Manning is the reason why his teams win double digits each year. His #1 is well deserved. Now lets get it done tomorrow!!!! GO BRONCOS!!!!

Bronco Mike

Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote a few weeks back:

Whereas last year's team was trying to form on both sides of the ball, this year's team is going to struggle defensively. You don't lose your two greatest pass rushers and remain an elite defense. It's time to stop perpetuating the delusion. Von/Doom, the names that struck fear in bookend tackles from the edge are no more. Doom is off playing fax machine in Baltimore and Von will be lost for anywhere from 4-6 games due to stupidity. With their departure, and more specifically the loss of Miller comes uncertainty in other areas.

Sure Shaun Phillips can step in at rush end, but who steps in for Von? You don't fill those shoes with anyone else, period. Del Rio can scheme and plan and call the greatest defense he's ever called in his career and this unit will still struggle. Nevermind the fact that we have a third year player coupled with a 2nd year UDFA rookie as our two safeties. Nevermind the fact that Champ Bailey might be gone longer than anyone expects on the outside. Nevermind the fact that now the Broncos will field one of the smallest LB corps in the NFL in Trevathan, Woodyard, and Irving. That 660 lbs of beef in the middle has looked like nothing more than a couple of quarter pounders from McDonalds. We will struggle.

You know why we're paying a 37-year old elite money to play QB for this team? Because this is what he's done his entire career. Sure it would be great if our team was strong top to bottom, the most complete talent Peyton Manning has ever had surrounding him, and we still might become that team midseason. But until then, this is why he's paid the big bucks. He has to carry this team. I don't like it, you don't like it--I would much rather see this team dominate on all sides of the ball but the NFL is not a perfect world and everyone has to face adversity. Just as the defense held things together while our offense sputtered and struggled to score points early on last year, this offense has to hold things together and be prepared to win shootouts. Outside of the center position and the uncertainty at RB, the offense is loaded and primed to light up the scoreboard. It will have to in order to keep our team competitive on a week to week basis.

For years Peyton Manning shouldered the load in Indy, so much so that when he was finally gone, that team had no shot to stand on it's own two feet. Our team is much better off than they were, but we will have to rely on Peyton to keep our heads above water.

Last year after more than a year away from football, still recovering from an injury that forced him how to relearn how to throw a football, Manning put up the 2nd greatest season in his storybook career. A year later, he is primed for a role reprisal, only this time the offense has a year under its belt. Peyton Manning is now Mr. Bronco. This isn't anything new for him, Peyton is used to facing adversity, used to shouldering the heavy load. What better way to cap off an unbelievable road to recovery than by putting he Broncos on his back on the road to the Super Bowl?

Do you folks remember the Shanahan years? Fast starts, shaky defense, and hang-on-to-your-seat excitement at the end? All I can say is we're in for one hell of a ride and I'm sure glad #18 is the one steering the ship. Keep your heads up Broncos Country, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. Super Bowl or Bust.


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