It's taken some time and a few mishaps along the way, but Peyton Manning has found his original form.
The four-time AP NFL MVP looks like he is returning to his winning ways which have made him so valuable to the Indianapolis Colts' franchise. Now, donning a Denver Broncos' jersey, Manning is on pace to win his fifth AP MVP award (he already owns the record with four). He has already validated the five-year $96 million contract that the Broncos gave him after they shipped Tim Tebow off to New York.
The 36-year-old has had his fair share of injuries and trouble up to this point, sitting out all of last season due to multiple neck surgeries that left his future very much in doubt.
The Colts decided it was time to part ways after they drafted No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck. Manning soon after signed with the Broncos even when it was questionable if he could ever play like his former self.
That question has been answered nine games into the season: Peyton Manning is back.
It's not enough just to say that Manning is playing well considering sitting out last season; he's playing lights out. Leading the Broncos to a playoff berth with a 6-3 record, while staying well in contention for another MVP award.
Not bad for missing an entire NFL season.
Manning said that he is a different player coming off the injury and that he will only build from that (via USA Today):
I've had an injury. I think I'm a different player coming off the injury. I'm with a different team. I think I'm kind of finding my way, and our team is finding our way. I think I keep saying we're trying to find our identity, and I think we're starting to form it.
Manning leads the league in passer rating with 108.0, is second in the league with a 69.7 completion percentage and ranks third in touchdowns with 21.
To put icing on the cake Manning already has the comeback awards tied up and is only looking to get stronger as the season progresses.
If anything, that is the real question: Can Manning remain consistently good for the rest of the season and playoffs? He's due to experience a low point during the season right? Something that shows he is still reeling from those neck surgeries and a year off.
Regardless, if Manning stays on pace and leads the Broncos he will be the favorite to win another MVP award. Nothing short of a Broncos downfall or a big hit will derail Manning from reaching the award once again.
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