Ron Jaworski: Father time might be catching up with Peyton Manning

Former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski watches a lot of game film in his capacity as an analyst for Monday Night Football and NFL Matchup, and he says he’s noticed something interesting in watching the Colts this season: Peyton Manning might be getting old.

“The last couple weeks, as I’ve studied Peyton Manning, he has not been real sharp,” Jaworski said today on Mike and Mike in the Morning. “Maybe there does come a time when the skills start to diminish a little bit.”

Jaworski isn’t saying Manning is washed up by any stretch of the imagination, but he is saying he’s noticing throws that the 34-year-old Manning isn’t making, and they’re throws he used to make.

“I’m not saying it is, but I’m seeing little signs now that the deep sideline throws are not as accurate as they used to be, there’s not the zip on the ball that there used to be,” Jaworski said. “Maybe father time might be catching up with Peyton Manning a little bit.”

Statistically, Manning looks like he’s as good as ever, having completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 1,609 yards this season, with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. But Jaworski looks at more than just the statistics and wonders if Manning might be past his prime.

72 responses to “Ron Jaworski: Father time might be catching up with Peyton Manning

  1. That might be but his team doesn’t have the talent it used to on offense either. Great receivers cover up bad throws

  2. Can Father Time effect a Rocket Laser Arm?
    But seriously, if he is on the downswing I am very happy to have gotten to watch him and Brady duel it out for the last 9 years. They are two of the generations greats and it’s been a great rivalry that probably has a few more seasons left.

  3. Jaws knows what he is talking about. The guy is an expert in watching the film and judging the talent. Remember the 2005 draft, where he said the Cal QB Aaron Rodgers is not going to work in NFL. Yeah right, Manning is past his prime, even though he has had the best start (first three games) of his career in 2010. Seriously this idiot just needs to keep his mouth shut. Manning does not have zip on the ball on the deep sideline throws, just go and watch that sideline pass to Austin Collie against the Broncos.

  4. How ironic, I was just thinking about this over the weekend. He’s getting old, but he’s still as good as he ever was. The thing I wonder about is, who steps up once Peyton retires? Curtis Painter?

  5. Irsay/Polian paid Jaws to say that.
    “Peyton, we’d like to make you the highest paid player in the NFL, but Jawarski says that you’re getting old.”

  6. anything to keep your name out there…it figures its ESPN reporting this…what a joke. JAWS just took a huge hit on his credibility

  7. For as senile as he is, its surprising Jaws can see and understand things nobody else can.

  8. Finally!!! I can’t wait until he retires, and the fake Dolts fans crawl back into their holes. Talk about a fair weather franchise. That generic stadium of theirs will have less than 20,000 fans occupying it after they go 2-14 in a few years. Who dey!!!!!!!

  9. Possibly the best 3 game stretch in his career to start the season. Wasn’t able to watch the Jags game and he had a bad KC game where he looked like he had the flu in the postgame press conference. This all OBVIOUSLY adds up to time catching up to him. That is incredible logic
    Stay hot

  10. This is retarded… for two reasons:
    1) “Maybe there does come a time when the skills start to diminish a little bit.”
    — gee… you think? I wonder why he won’t play until he’s 80?!
    2) Did Jaws happen to notice that the receiving corp has been all over the place this year? Blair White ring a bell? No? Offensive line has been ripped to shreds… he’s under more pressure this year as well.
    He’s older, he’s not as sharp as he might have been at 28/29/30, but look at his stats and his ability to win games. He’s still the best QB in the league, hands down.

  11. Diminishing Skills? That is what Belicheck said about Bernie Kosar when he cut him from the Browns. Then Bernie went on to help the Cowboys win a superbowl.

  12. As a Redskins fan, I could have done without the bulletin board material for Peyton. That game was going to be tough enough; now he’s going to want to go in there and hang 70 points on the Skins just to put it to Ron and his ugly glasses. Thanks Jaws.

  13. Jaws is obviously relating to the end of his own career when it was clear as a bell that his average at best athletic ability was on a major decline. Manning has lost nothing. He will break more records this year and several more in the future.

  14. At 34, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance he’s past his “prime”. However, when your prime makes you one of the best ever, being just past it can still make you very, very good. For example, Jerry Rice remained a very productive WR for years beyond his prime. Jaws didn’t say he sucked and needed to quit playing. He said he wasn’t quite as sharp as he was a couple years ago. Come on, folks.

  15. Manning has bad wheels and a really bad knee. Of course time is catching up with him but how long can the melonhead be expected to be nearly perfect?

  16. Sure – Manning (11tds, 2 ints) is done.
    In the same interview he praised Favre (5 tds, 7 ints) as a warrior.
    What a genius!

  17. I really like the MNF crew they have but it is hard to take Jaworski seriously. He comes off as kind of a dope. I am not sure what it is. He obviously knows a ton and has plenty of good information to offer. He just seems like a goof next to Chucky. I’m not sure that is something that can be fixed. He definitely has good communication skills when it comes to breaking down film and explaining what he is seeing.

  18. Yup you can see Father time is catching up with Manning. He seems to be having trouble putting the ball in spaces he used to able to zip it in.
    However, I would still take him or Brady over anybody in the league right now, including Brees.

  19. Jaworski is sure fire first ballot HOF’er for his career as a QB.
    … oh wait, that’s Peyton who is a first ballot HOFer.
    Whatever Ron.

  20. Yea, good luck Skins. Keep hailing while you give all your hard earned money to Snyder while he puts an inferior product on the field year after year. Yea, HAIL. Suckers.

  21. The old father would appreciate it if his defense played well & he didn’t have to throw 45 or more passes every week !
    But isn’t the statement kinda incorrect… I though Peyton was childless :S

  22. Jeez, commenters. Overreact much?
    Jaws said the skills diminish “a little bit” not “the dude’s washed up.”
    Show me a 34 year old who’s physical skills have NOT diminished a little bit and you’d be wrong.
    The response to this story should be, Duh! Of course the skills have diminished a little bit. But he’s still as good a QB as ever.

  23. This means that Indy will need to find a RB for the future. He can’t throw 40 times a game anymore.

  24. father time? he’s still a top 3 QB. i GUARANTEE if they were undefeated or had 1 loss to a good team this jaws wouldn’t say anything. peyton’s defense is HORRIBLE and they can’t run the damn ball. for such a 1 dimensional team he’s doing pretty good

    It’s painful hearing Jaws call a game and even more painful to hear him make such a dumb comment about arguably the best QB to ever step on the field.
    I say “arguably” because I’d take Brady over Manning any day. Brady’s a winner. Peyton’s a record breaker. This will be proven Sunday when the Pats tear up the Ravens.
    Happy Friday Drama Queens!

  26. This guy is an idiot. Plain and simple. Some people over analyze things to death these days. From what I have seen of Manning, he hasnt lost a thing. Look at Brett Favre, up until this year he hadnt lost anything off his ability to throw the ball. Peyton has never had any arm issues either. I highly doubt at 34 he is starting to slow down

  27. At age 34, he might have lost a little physically. He wasn’t sharp against KC, but that was just one game. Let’s see how the season progresses. I’d love for Manning to stick it to Jaws by hoisting the SB 45 trophy. Maybe Jaws is just tired – after all, he has had to carry Chuckie Gruden the last couple of seasons.

  28. @Tyde –
    Come on man, he never said he’s done. He only said that he hasn’t been as accurate with his deep sideline throws and that could be a sign that he’s getting older.

  29. On a side note, why was “defensive guru” Tony dungys defense with the Colts horrible every year? Oh, thats right cause all he did was build a career on the coat tails of Peyton Manning, Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp. Peyton would have 3 or 4 rings if he had a real coach at ANY point in his career.

  30. Wasn’t he also one of the know it all that also said after Peyton’s knee surgery that he was pretty much done as a top QB in the league?

  31. “# gbsn3219 says: October 15, 2010 9:11 AM
    Finally!!! I can’t wait until he retires, and the fake Dolts fans crawl back into their holes. Talk about a fair weather franchise. That generic stadium of theirs will have less than 20,000 fans occupying it after they go 2-14 in a few years. Who dey!!!!!!!”
    Ok, seriously? Of all teams, a BENGALS fan taking about a fair-weather franchise?
    Your team did not have any fans from 1991 to 2004, and even almost got sued by the city of Cincinnati, and you’re going to try and talk trash?
    The Colts have sold out the season, and don’t have to rely on the owners to buy tickets to avoid blackouts, like the Bengals do.
    Win a Superbowl, loser.

  32. Are you kidding me.. have you seen his offensive line, they couldn’t even block on one play for Manning and they’re the reason the Colts have no running game. Manning has almost no pocket as it collapses within the first 2 seconds and he’s forced to move around and make harder throws than he did in years past. The offensive line was solid last year and that’s why they went nearly undefeated. Watch Ryan Diem 71 in KC game, he was beat on nearly every play. I love Jaws but hes wrong on this one

  33. He shoulda saved this comment for when Peyton’s stats aren’t awesome like they are right now. I guess Peyton could be doing better as he has thrown 2 Interceptions, a younger Peyton might have only throwed 1

  34. It might also be that his receivers have had so many injuries this year and that Manning relies so much on timing and precision. I’d also like to see whether his offensive line is getting him enough time to really plant his feet and make the sharp long throw.
    It might also be game planning by defenses. Unless you’re Pittsburgh or Baltimore, it seems to me that Manning is going to move the ball pretty well between the 20s – the question is whether he scores touchdowns or settles for field goals. In that case, it’d seem the smart strategy is take away the long ball between the 20s, cut down on yards after the catch, and throw different coverages and different schemes at them in the red zone. So I’d be interested in how much of what Jaworski is seeing is a result of defensive game planning.
    You can’t just dismiss Jaws — the guy’s film study is legendary. I’d be really interested in what Gruden thinks – another film hawk who knows something about QBs (though not how to develop them).

  35. There’s a good chance Peyton has passed his peak, but he still is the best qb in the league.

  36. Let’s see…. every oposing defense basically drops 7 or 8 people in coverage against him every week, while at the same time stuffing the run with the 3 or 4 remaining D-lineman. Most teams would rush for 200+ yds per game against that heavy pass coverage. But even with that, the Colts only manage to average 72 yds per game and 3.2 ypc!
    They have absolutely ZERO running game, all the D focuses on is stopping Manning and he’s still averaging over 300 yds per game and an 11-2 TD ratio with a horrible o-line and banged up receivers who get almost no seperation from defenses…
    You’d think after “digging in and doing some research”, Jaws would have figured that out…

  37. 100+ passer rating with ZERO running game, and a questionable defense. pretty darn good. Jaws blew it on this one.

  38. i guess Jaws neglected to watch the offensive line when taking in all that game film huh?

  39. EShine says:
    October 15, 2010 9:23 AM
    As a Redskins fan, I could have done without the bulletin board material for Peyton. That game was going to be tough enough; now he’s going to want to go in there and hang 70 points on the Skins just to put it to Ron and his ugly glasses. Thanks Jaws.
    Ha ha ha so true. I grew up on Favre, but Manning is better, no question. He WOULD be the guy to hang a 70 on you this weekend, just to spite Jaws and his big mouth. No pun intended.

  40. I love all these fanboys coming to Manning’s defense and citing his statistics (and ripping Jaws), on a personal level. That is not what Jaws said – he said he is missing throw he used to make, which is something you can plainly see watching their games and film, not looking at the box score and stats. It’s not an insult at him, it’s just a fact. As a Manning owner in 2 leagues, I can tell you I’ve seen him miss quite a few passes of open receivers this year. He doesn’t have the receiving talent he used to, but when a guy is open and he misses him, that’s the throw, right? Nobody’s talking about the plays where the receiver runs the wrong route – the point is about missing guys that are open and/or who have separation.
    I’m not a Manning fan at all but like everyone I respect his talent and what an assassin he has been. But the video doesn’t lie. If you’re too in love with Manning to see that (or not actually watching their games) or you just hate Jaws, then whatever. But completion percentage and yardage is not the point. You can get a high percentage on short throws, and you can get yardage by throwing a ton, as he did in the 50 attempt game…

  41. It’s clear that Peyton is still pretty damn good. He’s just not throwing 100% perfect throws like he usually does. In their offense, routes and timing is everything. If he’s off a few milliseconds, that changes where the ball and the receiver are.

  42. Jaws is just showing how shallow his film analysis is. If the Colts were undefeated at this point he would be saying how sharp Peyton looks and how he’s still got that “zip.” It’s an easy out. He gets to look like he’s saying something significant, and get some news exposure outside of the radio world, without really analyzing much.
    I’ll admit Peyton had a rough week last week but I don’t think much of it had to do with his level of “zip” or sideline accuracy.

  43. wingsfan… what are you talking about??? Are you even watching these games. Show me a play when his receivers are “wide open” and he’s missing them. 90% of the time, his receivers are completely covered and I literally don’t even see how he gets the ball in there for a completion. A lot of time when they are “wide open”, there’s also 2 DE’s about to crush him as he’s throwing the ball…
    Either way, I’m sure he’s missed some passes, but are you that dumb to think in his 2004-2009 years he didn’t miss passes?? That’s not the point. Almost a 70% completion percentage IS RIDICULOUS, especially considering he’s constantly facing 7 or 8 in pass coverage and NO RUNNING GAME! Most QB’s can’t get 70% with 5 in pass coverage!

  44. Jaworksi watches a few highlights and bases his opinion off of that. For instance he stated last week how Mark Sanchez is getting much better at processing information based solely on one play where he looked off his first option and threw an 8 yard pass to his second option.
    The best commentator around is Chris Collinsworth who has his own personal film room at his home and puts in a ridiculous amount of time studying film. I respect his opinion far more than anyone at ESPN especially Jaws.

  45. Of course Peyton Manning is past his “prime.” Athletically, he probably reached his prime eight years ago (the average is 26). So physically, he may have diminishing traits.
    But overall, in terms of play on the field, Peyton Manning seemingly just keeps getting better. Every game Manning plays, it’s just more experience on his part. And that’s scary. And even if his arm strength is diminishing slightly, that doesn’t make him any less of a quarterback. The way Peyton plays, I would be surprised if he retired before his 40th birthday. And when he retires, I still expect him to be a hell of a quarterback.
    And this is coming from a lifelong and diehard Patriots fan.

  46. Two things that need to be said. Manning was a better quarterback than Jaworski when he was 17, and he will be a better quarterback than Jaws when he’s 57.
    Manning is the middle of his prime and is already the best to have played the game.

  47. Uhm…that fourth quarter against the Jags a couple of weeks ago shows he still has it and as a Pats fan still worries me in the hurry up offense.
    Jaworski is one of the biggest Favre apologists out there but it’s Manning that is getting old. Jaws is a joke.

  48. KOM2K10 – uh, yeah, I’ve seen almost all of all of their games which is why I felt I could comment (beyond just reciting his completion percentage that you can look up anywhere). He missed Wayne down the sideline against the Jags. He has missed Garcon alone in the end zone by overthrowing him. He has missed Clark in the middle of the field and in the back of the end zone. He has short armed some balls.
    I don’t consider any of that a slam on him – in fact, it’s a complement how accurate he has been over the years. But please don’t rely on “completion percentage” as a measure of whether he still has it or not – there are other players with high completion percentages making safe throws. It’s a meaningless stat in many ways. Obviously you want it high, but film analysis is about looking at micro plays, not macro results. Jaworski also spoke to his velocity, which nobody here is addressing – have you noticed some defenders jumping the routes a bit more than usual? That is also a result of velocity.
    People are getting personal, ripping on Jaws, saying “he’s still got it”. But if you’re trying to tell me that a QB is more accurate or throws harder at 34 than 28, you’re just missing the point. The point of Jaws’ piece is that he is noting the decline on this individual player based on film.
    I do agree with the comments that the o-line is not solid. But it seems like people are trying to claim to be better film experts than Jaws, as if he is not taking that kind of thing into account or can’t isolate on throws versus coverage/routes. If you re-read this very short article, which is like 10 sentences long, Jaws cites Accuracy on deep routes and Velocity. None of that has anything to do with hurries, coverage, etc. Film study is not reciting a completion percentage.

  49. @niceypoo
    Whoa, big fella. If I were you I’d be more concerned about why your team has just one championship during the Manning era than some innocuous smacktalk about sacking your quarterback from some sucker. Seriously, the Indianapolis Colts are the Atlanta Braves of the NFL. I guess that’s still better than being the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. Hail!

  50. Jimmy says:
    October 15, 2010 10:28 AM
    Whatever. If he wants to play for the Lions after he turns 50, we’ll take him.
    At that age your only competition will be that team in Nortern Iowa.

  51. Its Hilarious that a declining Peyton Manning with no OL, with hurt receivers, and a non existant running game and he is still the best QB in the league. What does that say for the other QB’s? Jaworski is a chode.

  52. # Facts Domino says: October 15, 2010 12:39 PM
    Two things that need to be said. Manning was a better quarterback than Jaworski when he was 17, and he will be a better quarterback than Jaws when he’s 57.
    Manning is the middle of his prime and is already the best to have played the game.
    Hey, we all know Peyton is a truly great QB, but your comment is a bit ridiculous in the extremes it goes to. First off, Jaws wasn’t exactly a horrible QB, so I highly doubt Peyton was better at 17, and he certainly won’t be better at 57 (unless you mean better than Jaws will be that year). No way is Manning in the middle of his prime. No 34 year old is. His physical abilities will have diminished somewhat, but that doesn’t mean his arm has diminished, and his experience likely more than compensates for any physical prowess he might have lost at this point. How much longer will this be the case? Who knows. The last comment is just blind homerism. In no way has he already earned the title greatest QB ever. Joe Montana and Otto Graham are easily higher on the list. Heck, Johnny Unitas might be higher on the list too. Brady’s legacy is at least equal right now. Actually, Brady’s legacy should probably be ranked higher right now. Championships have to count for something, and the first year Brady had a top notch receiving corps and the freedom that Manning has to air it out, he broke Manning’s single season TD record. Then again, I really don’t care which player people think is better. That’s simply a matter of personal preference. The point is, there is no rational way that you can say he’s the best to ever play the game at this point in his career. He needs another SB championship or two to even have a chance at that title.

  53. # superb owl says: October 15, 2010 8:25 PM
    father time doesnt have time for manning now. he’s too busy up in minnehaha.
    With all due respect, let’s see what your QB (whoever he is) looks like at 41. Not a Vikings or a Favre fan, but some of the attacks on him this season are going a bit too far. He hasn’t had the best of protection, especially against the blitz. The receiver he counted on to stretch the field is out. His slot receiver is just getting back into form after missing most of training camp with serious health problems. He’s had to play with receivers like Camarillo who are new to the system and that he has no experience with. Berrian is Berrian, and that should be all I need to say about that. Oh, and their schedule hasn’t exactly been easy to this point. Obviously Favre hasn’t been playing as well as he did last season, but if you’re honest, then you’d have to admit there’s a lot more too it than just age. If his elbow holds up, I’d expect a bit of a rebound from Favre actually. By the second half of the Jets game, he was airing the ball out to Moss for a TD, and using the down the field threat to open up the middle for Harvin. He put up 3 TDs in the second half against the Jets defense (more than Brady managed to accomplish, and he’s still pretty damned good). Yeah, the last drive was ugly, and he was constantly holding his elbow. If that problem can be dealt with or managed well enough, however, I don’t see why he couldn’t rebound. It wouldn’t be the first time he lit things up after people wrote him off. Oh, and Rice will be back this season. If the Vikings can keep themselves in the hunt until then, they could be a very dangerous team. AP in the backfield. Moss, Rice, and Harvin as their 3 receiver set. Shiancoe at TE. If I were an opposing defensive coordinator, that would worry me a bit. As an Eagles fan, I don’t really care if that happens. It just seems as likely to me as the notion of the Vikings completely falling apart.

  54. I watch all Colts games with a fine eye. I heard a rumor that Manning was hiding an injury or the Colts was hiding an injury on his behalf. With that being said I have not noticed anything on his accuracy, he’s more intermediatly accurate then 2004 right now. What I have noticed is his offensive line is the worst in his career and so is his coaching staff, maybe this defense is also. When you combine those elements to all this pressure on you just to win a game, it gets tiring and it can cause you to be inaccurate at times. Folks, this is just common sense, “Father Time” has nothing to do with it. I guess Jaws wouldn’t know that since he’s never known what its like to be the “franchise”. Not knocking him, but I call it like I see it.
    Not everyone is Michael Jordan, but atleast he had someone else great coaching him and he always had supporting players around him. Manning barely has Lions talent on this team.

  55. Steve,
    Funny how Mora and Haslett both have said that Manning was better than the Saints qb’s when he was a) in high school, and b) in college.
    So yeah, I think a 17 year old Manning could eclipse anything Jaws put up and I think in 23 years, Manning at 57, would still be better than Jaworski, just as a 40-whatever Marino would still be better than half the qb’s in the game.
    I’d take Marino over Montana, and Manning over Marino, and those are the two best to play the game.
    Brady broke the td record because Belicheck wanted him to with keeping him in games, etc. If Manning had the same number of throws he’d put a double nickle or better on the board.
    Manning hit his prime in 03, and that has been 8 years, so he might not be right in the middle of it, but he’s got 6-8 great years left barring injury so that comment wasn’t too far off the mark.

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