Five yards. Five measly yards. Fifteen of them were right in front of Peyton Manning at the start of the second half against the Indianapolis Colts. But instead, the future Hall of Fame quarterback threw.
It didn't inspire many fans.
At the time, I argued that that simply wasn't in Peyton's DNA. Manning will always throw instead of run, regardless of a torn calf (which we didn't know about).
It turns out, it didn't inspire one of his former teammates, either.
Former Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen appeared on the Denver Post's Sports Show with Les Shapiro and Woody Paige. While Paige chowed down on some pizza, Shapiro asked Dreessen an interesting question: can 38-year-old Peyton relate to his teammates?
Dreessen said that yes, Peyton can relate. Peyton can hold everyone accountable. And Peyton makes his teammates better. But he didn't inspire with that 3rd-and-5 pass.
"He expects me to sacrifice my body if he lays me up over the middle, or if I'm blocking in the run game," Dreessen says. "If he's at the point where he's not willing to do that also, I'm not going to want to bleed for the guy. You gotta have every single guy on the same page. You gotta have every single guy want to bleed and play for you."
While it seems Dreessen may overuse the "bleed for you" metaphor, his point is still pertinent: did Peyton let his teammates down there? Did his play fail to inspire his fellow Broncos to give it their all?
And, if Peyton Manning returns, is he willing to go out kicking and screaming?