When the Peyton chase unfolded in March, with the former Colts quarterback being courted by the Broncos, 49ers, Cardinals, and Titans, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers wasn’t hoping that Manning would choose a new city other than Denver.
Instead, Rivers says he wanted Manning to join the AFC West.
Rivers made the claim on NFL Network’s Total Access, via USA Today.
“I was probably one of the few people that was crazy enough to say it, but I was hoping he was going to Denver, and I say that with all respect,” Rivers said. “Certainly [he’ll] make it even tougher. . . . We certainly can’t expect that 8-8 will get us in [the playoffs].
“I’ve always believed why wouldn’t you want to play the best? . . . To me, any time you’re playing a Peyton Manning-led football team, it’s a challenge. But it’s what you dream about growing up as a kid.”
Of course, there’s nothing else Rivers can say at this point, given that Manning is a member of the Broncos and the Chargers will have to deal with him twice per year. (Then again, Rivers said something similar before Peyton picked the Broncos.) And that’s not necessarily a bad thing; the Chargers are one of the few teams that routinely bedeviled Peyton when he was in Indy.
So maybe, in the end, the Chargers will actually fare better against Peyton Manning than they would have done against Tim Tebow, who beat the Bolts in November and who nearly knocked them off after coming off the bench in October.