As 27-year fans of the Indianapolis Colts, it still breaks our heart to see Peyton Manning throwing passes for the Denver Broncos. But that heartbreak has been compounded this year.
Through the first four games of the 2013 NFL season Manning has been playing the best football of his life. He’s thrown for a whopping 1,470 yards and sixteen touchdowns for the undefeated Broncos – with no interceptions. He’s got a passer rating of 138.0 – nearly 17 points above his career best and more than 40 points higher than his career average of 96.5 (which happens to be the third-highest mark in NFL history).
Can Manning possibly keep it up?
The single-season record for passing yards in the NFL is 5,476 (set by Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints in 2011). The single-season record for touchdowns is fifty (set by Tom Brady of the New England Patriots in 2007).
Manning could easily break both of those marks this year if he stays healthy … which would be nothing short of amazing considering the 6-foot-5, 230-pound signal-caller is 37 years old.
More importantly, can he exorcize last year’s playoff demons and lead the Broncos to their first Super Bowl appearance since the franchise won back-to-back championships under John Elway in the late 1990s?
We mourned Manning’s departure from the Colts – and with good reason. He achieved legend status in Indy prior to missing the entire 2011 season with a potentially career-ending neck injury. Obviously Indianapolis has struck gold with 2012 No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck (who has the Colts off to a 3-1 start this season) but it’s still painful to think of what might have been with Manning under center.
Oh well … we’re happy for Peyton and wish him all the best this season. Well, except for October 20 – when the Colts welcome the Broncos to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for what is sure to be an incredibly emotional game.