Was Denver Bronocs QB Peyton Manning injured during yesterday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts? He may have been, and in fact it may not have been a one-game thing. Manning’s faltering performance in yesterday’s losing effort has led to speculation about whether he’s played his last NFL game. But it may not have been a quick deterioration.
According to reports, two people inside the Denver Broncos knew Peyton Manning injured his right quadriceps (thigh) muscle back in December. The injury came on a pass during the Dec. 14 Broncos-Chargers game, which Denver won.
Maybe Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wasn’t the only quarterback playing injured in his divisional game after all. Unlike Manning, Rodgers played well through the pain, guiding his Packers to a controversial but solid win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Manning, on the other hand, looked flat-out bad at times during Sunday’s 24-13 loss at home against Indianapolis. Manning finished the Sunday night game competing 26-of-46 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. Those figures are hardly Manning-like numbers from the regular season, though they do follow his pattern of flat one-and-done performances in the playoffs.
For his career, Manning has had nine one-and-done games in the playoffs. The next closest QB — and there are at least four of them — have four one-and-done losses. While that’s not empirical evidence that Manning was doomed to flub Sunday’s game against Andrew Luck and the Colts, it’s fuel for the fire he’ll catch among his doubters.
According to ESPN’s Stats & Information, Sunday’s loss to the Colts was Manning’s fourth-lowest yardage total in a playoff game for his career.
Manning had a record-setting year during the 2013-14 season, making John Elway and the Broncos brass look clairvoyant in signing him after his neck surgery. This season wasn’t nearly as strong, though some of that may have been due Manning’s quad injury.
Manning reportedly injured his thigh on Dec. 14 and passed for more than 300 yards just once during the final six games of the regular season. During the Broncos’ last nine games of the regular season, Manning threw 12 interceptions against 17 touchdowns, but the Broncos still managed to go 6-3 during that time.