Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning appeared to lose some zip on his fastball on Sunday night after Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis drilled him to force a fumble and a safety. But Manning said after the Broncos’ 39-33 loss to the Colts that he didn’t think the ugly ducks he was throwing were a problem.
Asked if Mathis’s hit caused him to throw some bad passes later in the game, Manning said that he doesn’t always throw a perfect spiral, and he has played just fine without throwing perfect spirals.
“I throw a lot of wobbly passes. I throw a lot of wobbly touchdowns too,” Manning said. “It was a good hit so I can’t say it did it but it was certainly a good hit, a healthy one as I would call it.”
Manning did, however, acknowledge that the Mathis hit was a turning point in the game.
“That was a big play,” Manning said. “Certainly any time you give them the safety and give them the ball again, it’s potentially a nine-point swing. Robert Mathis is a great player. It was a great play by him and that was one, among others, a couple of plays where we gave them some points or some field position and ultimately it was too tough to overcome.”
It says a lot about the season Manning is having that he completed 29 of 49 passes for 386 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception, and that adds up to by far his worst game of the year. The toughest thing for the Broncos to overcome may be that they haven’t shown they can win unless Manning is flawless.