There was no bigger signing in the offseason than the Denver Broncos risking everything to ink a quarterback in Peyton Manning that was coming off a missed 2011 season and multiple surgeries to his damaged neck.
After leading the team to a 31-19 win over the always-tough Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, Manning has proven that he is back. While he may not have the same zip on his passes, the years of studying the game has made the transition into the twilight of his career easy to handle.
Now, Manning faces his biggest test so far against the potent Atlanta Falcons. While their team defense is mediocre at best, the Atlanta offense will put up big points.
Peyton will not only have to keep up with the Falcons, he will have to outplay them; a task that will be tough to handle.
With a secondary that is full of overrated players, Peyton Manning will take great joy in picking apart the cornerback tandem of Asante Samuel and Dunta Robinson. Both Robinson and Samuel are risk/reward corners and will bite on the superior pump-faking of Manning.
After testing the waters last week on going deep, fans should expect Manning to unleash a few bombs on Monday night to send a clear message to the AFC West and the entire NFL; Peyton is back.
As a fantasy owner, we are always looking for the total yards from a QB, and Manning will not disappoint. Peyton and his 300+ yards this week is a must start in every style league.
The hardest statistic to predict for any quarterback is touchdowns, but Manning has been very consistent over his career. If you start Peyton Monday, you should expect at least two touchdowns from the veteran.
While it is hard to predict more than two, the weaknesses in the secondary for the Falcons and the lack of pass-coverage coming out of the linebacker group should have the Broncos controlling the clock and the tempo of the game.
If Manning can find his rhythm early and dictate the pace of the game, three touchdowns will become very likely. Either way, Peyton is a safe pick for Monday Night Football.
While there is no doubting that Peyton Manning isn’t the same quarterback he was before his multiple neck surgeries, he has adapted well and looks to still be one of the elite QBs in the league.
The Broncos know exactly what they will get from the star every snap, and his health is not an issue in Denver. It appears the risk of signing him and trading away last year’s playoff hero, Tim Tebow, has paid off handsomely for the team.
If Manning can stay out of trouble on Monday night and protect the ball, the tough Broncos defense will set up the future Hall of Famer to steal the show and win the game outright for his team.
Final Line: 25-of-31 for 323 yards and three touchdowns.
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