Peyton Manning: Week 2 Struggles Will Be Blip in Otherwise Solid Season

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks to throw the ball against the Atlanta Falcons during their game at the Georgia Dome on September 17, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In Week 1, we all probably overreacted after Peyton Manning played fantastic football against the Pittsburgh Steelers and led the Denver Broncos to a win.

In Week 2, we'll all surely overreact to Manning's three interceptions that were the main culprit in the team's loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Let's all just relax for a moment and see Manning for what he is.

He is a 36-year-old quarterback who is coming back from a lost season and is now playing on a new team. This is a different quarterback to the one we watched through the past decade. A bit of a decline is natural.

Before you go sounding the alarms and calling for Manning to retire, hear me out.

He's still Peyton Manning, and his decline is a akin to a vintage car having a few extra problems under the hood over the years.

It's not what it used to be, but it sure as hell isn't some Escort, either. 

As miserable as Manning was in the first quarter against the Falcons—and it was as bad as I've ever seen him throw the ball—he recovered. He led the Broncos to two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Had the Broncos got the ball one last time, who knows if they would have even lost?

Let's be honest, the arm strength isn't fully back. His balls had just a bit more air under them in that first quarter than they should have. That will come back.

Atlanta's defensive coordinator, Mike Nolan, has a history of drawing up solid defensive game plans against Manning. Clearly, he had No. 18 a bit befuddled early in this one.

With that being said, the tough times for Manning and the Broncos probably won't end just yet. With a tough matchup against the Houston Texans' stout defense on Sunday—off a short week, no less—we'll probably see Manning and the Broncos struggle again.

If nothing else, the Texans game should give us a better idea of how Manning holds up after taking a few big hits in the pocket. He may be notorious for his quick release, but the Texans can really get after the quarterback.

But don't panic.

Broncos fans, don't burn up those Manning jerseys.

Fantasy owners, don't assume you need to bench him the rest of the way.

People who run Manning fan sites, keep being creepy.

He's no longer the best quarterback in the NFL, but he's still very, very good. Once we all stop overreacting to every little thing he does, that will be evident enough.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are still in the Heisman race.

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