The Denver Broncos head into their Week 7 bye where many people may have thought they would be, sitting at .500 with a 3-3 record.
Manning came into the season surrounded by questions regarding his physical ability, but he has stepped up and answered them all. At 36 years old, Manning has completed nearly 68% of his passes on the season for 1,808 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has a passer rating of 105.0. Not bad for a guy who sat out the entire 2011 season after having multiple procedures on his neck.
The Broncos gave Manning what could amount to a five year, $96 million deal in March. To protect themselves against injury, the team will require Manning to pass a physical in order to be a member of the roster in 2013, turning what was essentially just a one year deal into at least a three year contract worth a guaranteed $58 million.
To answer the question of whether Manning will be the Broncos' quarterback in 2013, we can answer that with a resounding yes, barring some sort of disastrous injury this year.
Manning may not have the spin that he once did on his spiral, but he looks very much like the player who led the Indianapolis Colts to the postseason in nine straight seasons.
On Monday night, Manning reminded us all just how good he is. Trailing San Diego 24-0 at halftime, partly because of an interception he threw that was taken back the other way, Manning rallied the troops as only he can. Staring a 2-4 record in the eyes, Manning completed 13 of 14 second half passes for three touchdowns as the Broncos came back to stun the Chargers and positioned themselves as the clear favorite to win the AFC West division.
Now that he is getting comfortable with his receiving corps and getting his timing down, the Broncos are in a great position to make a deep playoff push. They have gotten past the most difficult part of their schedule and can now start looking ahead to playing the Raiders again and the Chiefs twice before having games against teams with losing records such as Carolina, Tampa Bay and Cleveland.
Manning will turn 37 years old next year, but he will do so in a Denver Broncos uniform before likely closing out his historic career once his contract is complete, quite possibly with at least one more Lombardi trophy.