Peyton Manning: Why New Bronco Won't Meet Expectations in Regular-Season Debut
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Despite being the biggest acquisition of the offseason, Peyton Manning won't meet expectations in his regular-season debut in the Mile High City.
When the Denver Broncos signed Manning, expectations were high. After all, the team was getting perhaps the greatest quarterback of this generation.
But just because you're getting the greatest quarterback of a generation doesn't mean you're going to be successful when he joins a new team. In fact, outside of Brett Favre, when was the last time a middle-aged quarterback switched teams and found immediate success?
Manning and the Broncos begin the regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Because of that, Manning is not going to meet fans' expectations in his regular-season debut.
The last time the two teams met, the Broncos won in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs when Tim Tebow found Demaryius Thomas for an 80-yard touchdown pass. This time, things are different.
The Broncos don't have Tebow. While Manning is a lot better of a quarterback than Tebow, there's one thing Tebow can do that Manning can't—escape pressure.
Pittsburgh is known to bring the kitchen sink on defense. With players like Troy Polamalu, Larry Foote, LaMarr Woodley and Ike Taylor, you can bet Manning is going to feel the heat immediately.
What will Peyton Manning do in his regular-season debut with the Broncos?
You can bet the Steelers will test Manning's mobility and ability to take a hit very quickly. I'm imagining an all-out blitz during the first series.
Last year, the Steelers ranked first in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game with 171.9. They also allowed the least number of passes over 20 yards with 34.
Add that the Broncos don't have a legitimate No. 1 receiver, and you have all the makings for a bad day for Manning.
Manning is a great quarterback, and nobody will dispute that. But, at 36 years old, can you really expect him to perform at a high level against a top-notch defense?
Let's not forget he's coming off neck surgery, and playing a position where he's going to be knocked down more times than he can count, it's eventually going to bother him.
While Manning will no doubt help the Broncos this year to make a playoff run, it's not going to start in the first week. Pittsburgh remembers what happened in the playoffs last year, and it's out for revenge.
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