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.