The “what’s wrong with Peyton Manning” question has been framed a variety of ways over the final month of the regular season, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com reports.
Manning battled a right thigh injury down the stretch — which he suffered Dec. 14 in San Diego — and over the final five games of the regular season, he had one 300-yard passing game, two games with fewer than 200 yards passing, five touchdowns and six interceptions for the Broncos.
With Denver poised for Sunday’s AFC divisional round game against the Indianapolis Colts, Manning’s health and recent play are again on the front burner. And the topic was something Broncos coach John Fox had little time or patience for Wednesday.
“He’s one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game,” Fox said after the team’s practice. “Statistically the top three this year, his performance kind of speaks for itself.”
Told that Manning’s recent numbers weren’t up to his usual level of performance, Fox responded: “Everybody’s got opinions, but I don’t see that.”
Even with the issues surrounding Manning, the Broncos are still getting a lot of love from the oddsmakers.
The Standard has the Broncos still as the second best team in the conference, trailing only the Patriots.
Denver is listed as a 5/2 favorite to win the AFC, and a 7/1 favorite to win the Super Bowl.
Manning was held out of the team’s two on-the-field practices last week, during the Broncos’ postseason bye. But he threw and took his usual workload in practices Monday and Wednesday.
“I feel pretty good physically,” Manning said after practice. “Like all players, I’ve battled through some injuries. I think the bye week came at a good time for us, gave some guys a chance to get healthy.”