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Peyton Manning: The game is harder after neck surgeries

Peyton Manning, Ryan Clady, Rob Ninkovich AP

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is on pace to throw for a career-high 4,821 passing yards. He’s on pace to throw 37 touchdown passes, which would be the second-best of his career, and both his completion rate (67.8 percent) and his passer rating (105.0) would be the second-best for his career. He’s on pace to throw 11 interceptions, which would be his lowest total since 2006. So does that mean he’s all the way back after having multiple neck surgeries and missing all of last season?

Not quite. Manning told Peter King of Sports Illustrated that although his stats might make it look like he’s 100 percent healthy, he’s not there yet.

“That’s how it might look like to someone on the outside,” Manning said. “Some things are harder than they used to be. The game is harder. The whole goal was try to get better every week, even if only a little bit better every week. And I knew all along the nerve would take a long time [to heal], and you couldn’t rush it. It’ll be a tad better in two weeks, then a tad better two weeks after that. On game day, I get a little juice and feel pretty good. All I’m saying is, I still have strength to recover and rehab to do.”

Watching Manning’s passes, they do sometimes appear to wobble and float more than they did when he was with the Colts. So it’s not surprising that Manning would say he’s not all the way back. But considering how well Manning is playing this season even at less than 100 percent, it’s scary for the rest of the league to think about how good he can be by playoff time if he keeps getting better.

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56 Responses to “Peyton Manning: The game is harder after neck surgeries”
  1. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Oct 26, 2012 2:15 PM

    Nn

    No s**t!

  2. spellingcops says: Oct 26, 2012 2:15 PM

    100% right about the end of December….

  3. cubancigar10 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:17 PM

    Best on-field coach/QB I have ever seen!! No doubt.

  4. billsfaninmiami says: Oct 26, 2012 2:18 PM

    Dude! Don’t say “juice” in front of the Commish!

  5. steelersownyou says: Oct 26, 2012 2:18 PM

    Im a diehard steeler fan and after i watched him opening night after a year off and neck surgery to come back and continue to do what he does. Im convinced he is 2nd best Qb to ever play the game. I still have to put joe montana #1. But kudos to manning he’s unbelievable!

  6. howiefeltersnatch says: Oct 26, 2012 2:21 PM

    I never used to like the guy, until now. I hope dude goes all-pro for the rest of his career and sticks it to the Colts every time.

    War Peyton Manning

  7. therealbleedcoltsblue says: Oct 26, 2012 2:23 PM

    Well when stats (and how much you get paid) are all you care about, its EASY to make the numbers pretty.

    No matter how ‘good’ he is come playoff time, he won’t be good IN the playoffs.. just like old times.

    Go COLTS!

  8. 8to80texansblog says: Oct 26, 2012 2:26 PM

    I really hope my Texans dont see him in the Playoffs. I firmly believe if he had 5 more minutes, he would have beat us. He looks scary good coming off 4 neck surgeries.

  9. 4ever19 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:27 PM

    His passes do appear soft and wobbly. He never had a cannon for an arm (despite what some have claimed), but now his velocity is even less. Still, he is getting the job done. And if he is one notch below Joe Montana, that would make him the THIRD best QB ever. Johnny U is and always will be No. 1.

  10. Broncofanatic7 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:31 PM

    Denver is going to go on a 10 game winning streak to close out the season, and Manning will just be feeling better, and the offense geling together even more. It’s exciting to think that they will be firing on all pistons come playoff time hopefully.
    Go Broncos!

  11. johnnybgood19 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:33 PM

    Peyton, hate to tell ya but you be getting older and a year off regardless of reason is going to make the game seem harder. Give it another 10 years and things you can do all night now, will take all night…..

  12. JaminJake says: Oct 26, 2012 2:36 PM

    I use to make fun of Manning for his gigantic contracts when he was always fizzling out in the playoffs. I never would have guessed he loved the game as deeply as he did. Many pointed to the contracts as the reason for the Colt’s shortcomings, but I must say that Manning handled those remarks in a much better way than any other top tier QB I can think of.

  13. jimcaldwellsucks says: Oct 26, 2012 2:36 PM

    I still want to kick Gregg Williams in the balls for his illegal activities taking years away from the greatest to play the game.

    Goodell should never let that slime coach again.

    Before anyone says that he only missed one year, while that is true, he’s been affected by this injury ever since it occurred in 2006.

  14. milehigh85 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:42 PM

    Geez, for the game being harder he sure does make it look easy.

  15. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Oct 26, 2012 2:46 PM

    Peyton Manning is the epitome of class in a professional league where character qualities are far and few between egos and greed. Glad he chose to bring his talents and game to the Broncos!!

  16. dbones750 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:49 PM

    Peyton always says and does the right things. If anyone can come back from an injury and play well, it’s Peyton. Not surprising at all. And not surprising that he’s still got a ways to go with his rehab.

  17. broncosnative says: Oct 26, 2012 2:50 PM

    Peyton manning has done what Pennington, mcnabb and culpepper couldn’t do and that is play at a high level on a different team after injuries. He’s probably had the worse injury out of the four and yet manning is on pace to adding another MVP award to his resume. He’s like the little engine that could, never stop giving up and does everything he cam to improve each we to being 100% healthy. You had to be stupid to think that manning didn’t have it in him anymore leading up to the season, he proved all the doubters wrong and he’s by far better than most of these QBs who are 100%. IMO, Peyton is having a better season than brady so far and even with the three losts, broncos were never out of it. theres not a team in the west or more than half in the league could had a better start.

  18. golonger says: Oct 26, 2012 2:55 PM

    Yeah, he’s so great the Broncos are only 4-3 and would be 3-4 if not for a gift. Sorry…Manning is even more of a choker than ever and his commercials are even worse!

  19. wryly1 says: Oct 26, 2012 2:55 PM

    Peyton only has to win 6 of the remaining 10 games to equal Tim Tebow’s 9-7 record with Broncos last year.

  20. pftcensorssuck says: Oct 26, 2012 2:57 PM

    People need to remember that Manning is performing at this high a level after:

    Missing a year of football

    Coming back after FOUR neck Surgeries

    Going to an entirely new team and offense

    For all of you who said he was done, I’ll ask: how is YOUR quarterback looking compared to Manning?

    I for one liked him as Brady’s chief rival, and wished him well in Denver. I only hope that doesn’t come back to bite our Patriots in the a$$ come playoff time

    Go get ‘em, Peyton!

  21. bleedcoltsblue says: Oct 26, 2012 2:58 PM

    therealbleedcoltsblue? Are you kidding me?

    If that were the case I wouldn’t have my name.

    Boy, you still don’t have a clue when it comes to the NFL, the Colts or Manning.

    I guess it’s burning you up that Irsay selected Luck over RG3.

    That might be the biggest positive to having Luck.

  22. 4thquartermagic says: Oct 26, 2012 3:10 PM

    I’m glad I’ve been able to watch Peyton up close now that he’s on the Broncos. I used to hate him (mostly cuz he destroyed us in the playoffs).

    New found appreciation for this first ballot.

    Go out on top like John did Peyton!

  23. sb44champs says: Oct 26, 2012 3:19 PM

    Best QB’s of all time:
    1.) Joe Montana
    2.) Steve Young
    3.t)Peyton Manning
    3.t) Drew Brees

    Now for all the ‘thumbs down’…

  24. flash1283 says: Oct 26, 2012 3:21 PM

    Lets not forget when playing for the Colts he played 8 games a year IN A DOME.

    Lets see if he can keep it up when the cold weather and snow comes.

  25. dvdman123 says: Oct 26, 2012 3:23 PM

    I think he and Denver will have a rough time Sunday night. They are up against a very talented and desperate Saints team.

  26. golonger says: Oct 26, 2012 3:29 PM

    bleedcoltsblue, why do you find this so hard to believe? You ARE aware of Mannings pedestrian playoff record right?

  27. 2difshoe says: Oct 26, 2012 3:40 PM

    The cat just outright plays football…and wins !

    Good luck Peyton, stay healthy.

    Bears fan

  28. runteddyrun says: Oct 26, 2012 3:45 PM

    Peyton Man-Thing

  29. marcuswelby70 says: Oct 26, 2012 3:54 PM

    steelersownyou says:
    Oct 26, 2012 2:18 PM
    Im a diehard steeler fan and after i watched him opening night after a year off and neck surgery to come back and continue to do what he does. Im convinced he is 2nd best Qb to ever play the game. I still have to put joe montana #1. But kudos to manning he’s unbelievable!

    ——————————————

    Uh…I think there is a QB in NY that is better than him. And I don’t mean Sanchez!

  30. golonger says: Oct 26, 2012 3:57 PM

    sb44champs, your list is a joke!

  31. therealbleedcoltsblue says: Oct 26, 2012 4:09 PM

    golonger don’t worry about that imposter.

    I’ve been ‘bleedcoltsblue’ for over 10 years online and this Manning-lover hack is just guilty of name stealing and not understanding the NFL in any capacity.

    Go Colts!

  32. doclolly says: Oct 26, 2012 4:10 PM

    Peyton is just ridiclous this season and besides that 1st Quarter in Atlanta he’s been playing remarkable well for someone who’s sat out a whole year and is learning a complety new system.

    it’s funny because even if manning doesn’t get better then he is now you can argue he’s still a top 10 (or just barely outside the top 10) QB in this league

  33. colts419 says: Oct 26, 2012 4:15 PM

    people who talk about peyton “choking” in the playoffs would be better off taking that time to look up and compare peytons playoff stats to some other “non chokers” from this era. also, consider he has one superbowl win, and compare the teams hes been on to those of qb’s who have more than one.

    also, for the rg3>luck people here, thats laughable. dig deeper into the stats that you people love so much (since youve clearly not watched both play) and youll see luck not only stacks up but looks better than rg3. (sample, rg3 best pass complete %, but lowest % of passes beyond 15 yards, his recievers lead league in yards after catch, even when rushing luck has had more success getting 1st downs with his runs and on 3rd downs his rushes for 1st down stats way outshine rg3)

  34. zerole00 says: Oct 26, 2012 4:46 PM

    You know, I remember back before Peyton got signed that people (me included) argued that him at 80% was already better than most of the league.

    A lot of haters disagreed, where are you now?

    PEYTON MANNING

  35. baloneyjohn says: Oct 26, 2012 4:48 PM

    No kidding. Surgery does that.
    I have always felt, Eli is a more likable person and remember he has 2 Super Bowl Rings. Peyton, is more like Marino and Favre. Lots of records, poor super bowl results

  36. teamgoku says: Oct 26, 2012 4:57 PM

    If Peyton is a choke artist, what does that make Marino? Cause he never won a super bowl and only played in one yet people though or think he is so great, get over it Peyton is, was, and is going to continue being a great QB till he decides to retire.

  37. yajas says: Oct 26, 2012 5:26 PM

    therealbleedcoltsblue says: “Well when stats (and how much you get paid) are all you care about, its EASY to make the numbers pretty. No matter how ‘good’ he is come playoff time, he won’t be good IN the playoffs.. just like old times.”

    If it’s easy to make the numbers pretty and get paid a lot, why aren’t more QBs doing that? Or are they all so incredibly noble and altruistic that they’d rather help their team at the expense of their own stats by throwing more incomplete passes, getting sacked more, and avoiding that pesky end zone place.

    Most Colts fans appreciate all he did for that team, wish him well, and are looking forward to continued success with Luck. It says a lot about a Colts fan who can look back at the Manning era in Indy and make bitter comments about it.

  38. rg3andout says: Oct 26, 2012 5:26 PM

    pay-me-tons manning

  39. golonger says: Oct 26, 2012 5:34 PM

    Marino was great period. He never choked in big games, He didnt win in many cases because he never had the team around him. There is a difference. Manning is a huge choke artist!

  40. golonger says: Oct 26, 2012 5:36 PM

    Playoff stats have no bearing on choking or not. Wins and losses does. Sorry

  41. reachmylevel says: Oct 26, 2012 5:44 PM

    It is funny how we place so much on the quarterback winning or losing for us during the playoffs. It is not just the quarterback’s play that dictates the outcome of the game. Manning’s rating is over 88 for his career during the playoffs. That is far from choking. One of his worst ratings came during the year they won the Superbowl. I know they are just stats, but the quarterback cannot play defense, which was one of the reasons why the Colts struggled during the playoffs. Get a clue if you are hating on Peyton Manning. I am not even a fan of the Colts or the Broncos, but most teams would love to have Manning heading their team.

  42. colts419 says: Oct 26, 2012 5:52 PM

    baloneyjohn says: Oct 26, 2012 4:48 PM

    No kidding. Surgery does that.
    I have always felt, Eli is a more likable person and remember he has 2 Super Bowl Rings. Peyton, is more like Marino and Favre. Lots of records, poor super bowl results
    ——————————————
    the year the colts won the superbowl with peyton our defense just showed up to play once the playoffs started. any colts fan here can tell you that for that stretch of games our d played more effectively than at any other point since polian began playing the “let peyton handle it” approach. it was inexplicable, but its what it took for peyton to get a superbowl. if you say eli is better than peyton because of his 2 superbowls it means you discount the giants defense, or aikmans all around amazing team, or terry bradshaws d, plunkets team….how about big ben, look at how he has performed in his playoff career, superbowls included. he had that defense though.

  43. morgusthemagnificent says: Oct 26, 2012 5:58 PM

    If REALLY know what you are looking at and you REALLY understand the game; more importantly, the position. You have only one conclusion to come to in regards to P. Manning’s legacy; and that conclusion is GREATEST QB EVER.

    There is no debating this.

  44. johnnydow says: Oct 26, 2012 6:20 PM

    A huge part of the Broncos slow starts has been first half, very conservative, play calling. Time of possession is great if you can blow defenses off the line and get big gashing runs. I never see Gronkowski in short yardage situations. Where did he go? We have the Q.B. that has killed defenses by making adjustments and changing plays at the line, but we aren’t letting him do it much. Altitude and no huddle offense should be the biggest home field advantage of all time. I was expecting to see that from day one. Is Foxes ego too big to let his Q.B. do what he does best? Do you buy a Ferrari, put big snow tires and a hitch on it and tow a big trailer? There was a time when Elway went behind Reeves back because of play calling like we see now!

  45. bleedcoltsblue says: Oct 26, 2012 7:38 PM

    golong you’ve been ignorant about football your whole time posting here.

    Why should that change now.

    Getting hit by lightening won’t change that fact.

  46. tluke25 says: Oct 26, 2012 8:19 PM

    Manning has never relied on arm strength. His success comes with reading defenses, throwing those timed lob passes he always throws, and getting in sync with receivers who can run good routes.

    The guy has always been more like a knuckle ball pitcher …. and a darn good one.

  47. txraiderfan says: Oct 26, 2012 8:31 PM

    Seems like the Texas are the only team that has figured out Manning can’t go deep anymore, and the Broncos will call for a bubble screen to Thomas at least 10 times per game.
    Manning’s numbers should fall off considerably in the second half of the season.
    He’s one of the all time greats (better than Brady). The fact that he can still get the job done with no arm strength is a testament to how gritty and intelligent he is. However, the NFL defenses do make adjustments.

  48. novoodoo4409 says: Oct 26, 2012 8:36 PM

    If you had to support a forehead that large, any neck would be strained…

  49. jimcaldwellsucks says: Oct 26, 2012 8:46 PM

    I’ve known forum users named bleedcoltsblue over the years.

    Here is what I can tell you about him.

    • He is racist.
    • Preferred Culepper/Vick over Manning.
    • Uneducated.
    • Not very knowledgeable when it comes to football and what offensive football even more so.
    • Has been banned at every forum I’ve seen him at, Indystar, coltfreaks, Colts.com (more than once),etc.
    • Spews hatred for Manning whether he has a great game, average game or the rare occasion poor game.
    • Would get owned numerous times and never admit it or see it.
    • Hardheaded
    • Ignorant
    • Clueless
    • That kinda sums it up. Oh look, a top 10 list.

    Now I’m guessing there could two different posters online using the moniker bleedcoltsblue. Heck , I guess there could be more than one.

    Historically, the one I’ve seen post has been dumb as dirt. It seems that one is therealbleedcoltsblue.

    So, it’s funny that someone took your name.

  50. morgusthemagnificent says: Oct 26, 2012 8:57 PM

    @tluke25

    Manning has never relied on arm strength. His success comes with reading defenses, throwing those timed lob passes he always throws, and getting in sync with receivers who can run good routes.

    The guy has always been more like a knuckle ball pitcher …. and a darn good one.

    ———————————————————————————–

    I think a more appropriate comparison to a pitcher would be Greg Maddox. Not the best fastball but pinpoint precision and dominating the mental part of the game

  51. frankyvito says: Oct 26, 2012 11:11 PM

    Go ahead and compare Manning & Brady’s playoff stats. See how eerily similar they are. Peyton’s might even be a little better. What’s the difference? Brady had a team that was built to win 17-14. Everyone’s stats take a dip in the playoffs.

  52. bigbadal21 says: Oct 27, 2012 12:58 AM

    I want to know if they are going to fine the Broncos for not listing Manning on the injury report.

  53. denverscott says: Oct 27, 2012 1:56 AM

    therealbleedcoltsblue says: Oct 26, 2012 2:23 PM

    Well when stats (and how much you get paid) are all you care about, its EASY to make the numbers pretty.

    No matter how ‘good’ he is come playoff time, he won’t be good IN the playoffs.. just like old times.

    Go COLTS!
    —————————————————–

    You’re thinking about Drew Brees moron. That’s who puts cash before the team.
    Golonger: Stop using the phrase that you scream over and over at the genital plastic surgeon as your nick name.

  54. bullcharger says: Oct 27, 2012 7:25 AM

    morgusthemagnificent says: Oct 26, 2012 5:58 PM

    If REALLY know what you are looking at and you REALLY understand the game; more importantly, the position. You have only one conclusion to come to in regards to P. Manning’s legacy; and that conclusion is GREATEST QB EVER.

    There is no debating this.

    ——————————————-

    If you judge completely on stats, Marino is still the better QB, especially based on the separation between him and other QBs of his era in terms of stats. If you judge on wins (which is the whole point of the game) Montana and Brady are way better. Manning can go down as the greatest ever if he wins a few more Super Bowls, but it’s unlikely.

  55. doublezero74 says: Oct 27, 2012 9:09 AM

    Mad respect for manning. Didn’t used to, but starting in 06/07 he changed mind. I’m a pats fan and I think Brady is the better QB but I have nothing but admiration for manning. (And he’s killing it on my FF team as a fourth round pick this year because everybody was so worried about his health and layoff from football, that dropped below guys like romo and shaub)

  56. broncosnative says: Oct 27, 2012 11:05 AM

    golonger says: Oct 26, 2012 2:55 PM

    Yeah, he’s so great the Broncos are only 4-3 and would be 3-4 if not for a gift. Sorry…Manning is even more of a choker than ever and his commercials are even worse!

    Goes to show you have no clue what’s going in in the nfl. The broncos are 3-3 now, what gift was given to the broncos in any of their 3 wins? If any one is a choker, it’ll be you and your inability to state the facts.

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