Before you completely write off Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for the rest of the 2015 season, consider this from Pro Football Focus.
That's right, it's not Manning's arm strength that was the problem on Sunday. It was his football mind and the Baltimore Ravens pass rush.
Manning is typically the best quarterback in football at mitigating the pressure from his offensive line and avoiding sacks. Linemen get beat, but Manning feels the pressure coming and knows exactly where to go with the ball, turning sacks for most quarterbacks into just pressure on him.
He has led the league in that percentage in three of the past five seasons, and has never allowed more than 17.4 percent of his pressure to result in sacks — and that came in the first season in Denver in a new offense. Against Baltimore he was sacked on 30.8 percent of his pressured plays. Manning seemed confused and surprised by the pressure he was facing, unusually unable to adjust to it and find his outlet.
So what Sam from Pro Football Focus is trying to say is, if you are going to criticize Peyton Manning then you should be criticizing the correct flaw in Manning's game right now.
Yes, his arm strength is terrible, but that’s nothing new. The new flaw to Manning’s game was how much pressure he let actually get to him. Can he adjust to that going forward or are we seeing something else at work?
Aside from that, Manning's numbers were quite different when taking pressure into account. Although he finished with a (-3.1) PFF grade overall, his stat line with no pressure was a more respectable 20/31 64.5% for 152 yards. The 76.3 quarterback rating isn't al that great, but overall I'd take those kinds of stats in any defensive slugfest. Conversely, Manning was 4/9 44.4% for 23 yards and one pick six when under pressure for an atrocious 12.0 quarterback rating.
If the Broncos line, especially Evan Mathis (-3.3) and rookie Ty Sambrailo (-2.6) can start to gel a little more as the season goes on, then Manning will be able to begin to trust his protection a little more - noodle arm be damned.
And if you just can't help yourself and feel the need to panic, well Mile High Report has you covered for that as well.