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Peyton Manning: You Chose the Wrong Division to Make a Comeback

Heneli IongiAnalyst IMarch 22, 2012

Peyton Manning: You Chose the Wrong Division to Make a Comeback

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    Bart Young/Getty Images

    Peyton Manning has been a Denver Bronco for a short period of time now. Seeing so much coverage of the Manning's decision to finally join a team didn't surprise me. What did surprise me is all of these NFL analysts—folks who get paid to talk football—saying that he made a phenomenal choice since the AFC West is a weak conference.

    From NFL Network to ESPN—hell, even Telemundo—all the networks had the similar sentiment of Manning in that he's likely to dominate a weak conference.

    Let me let you in on a little secret, Mr. Analyst know-it-all: Peyton Manning has made the biggest mistake of his career by coming to the AFC West. 

    Here are three reasons why Manning will lose in the AFC West. 

Peyton Manning's Krytonite: The San Diego Chargers

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    I'm going to state the obvious here: Peyton Manning joined the division that the San Diego Chargers are in.

    I'm not sure what Manning was thinking here. Maybe it's his competitive nature that made him want to play the Chargers twice a year. 

    I'm not going to talk about his overall record against the Chargers. I'm going to talk about Manning's overall record against Norv Turner and Philip Rivers, which is the most relevant argument I could make.

    Here are the following statistics from their past meetings:

     

    1) 2007 LOSS @ San Diego: 34-of-56, 328 passing yards, 2 TDs, 6 INTs.

    2) 2007 LOSS @ Indianapolis: 33-of-48, 402 passing yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs.

    3) 2008 WIN @ Indianapolis: 32-of-44, 255 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT.

    4) 2008 LOSS @ San Diego: 25-of-42, 310 passing yards, 1 TDs, 0 INTs.

    5) 2010 LOSS @ Indianapolis: 31-of-48, 285 passing yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs.

     

    Judging from the stats above, it seems to me that Manning don't really play that great against the Chargers—a total of 10 TDs and 13 INTs.

    Sure, there is more to playing the game than just the QB shouldering the responsibility, but not when you're Manning, he is the offense, the tempo and the reason why his team succeeds or fails.

    In this instance, he's an absolute failure against the Chargers.

Denver Broncos: No Run Defense Equals Being the Colts of the AFC West

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    It doesn't take a genius to figure out why Peyton Manning chose the Broncos as his team for the upcoming season and beyond: They have no run defense, just like the Colts.

    It wouldn't be Manning-like to join a team that has a run defense like the 49ers, Dolphins or Texans—all of which are in the top 10 in run defense and had expressed interest in Manning.

    Here is something that Peyton Manning should've thought about before making such a dumb move to come to the AFC West. Take a look at each team's rushing attack.

    The San Diego Chargers have kept their line together with the signing of Nick Hardwick and Jared Gaither. Last season, the Chargers' rushing attack was ranked 16th in the NFL. Sure, it isn't a top-notch ranking, but here is the thing: They just added a weapon in the versatile, but old-school FB Le'Ron McClain.

    Not to mention that Ryan Mathews is ranked 10th in the league in rushing yards and he only played 14 games last season. 

    The Kansas City Chiefs' rushing attack was ranked 15th in the league—all while not even having Jamaal Charles last season. I should end at that, but just in case Peyton Manning didn't know this, the Chiefs added a old friend of his in Eric Winston, who did just fine run-blocking for Arian Foster.

    There aren't many things that the Oakland Raiders can boast about, but in this case, it's their rushing attack. The Raiders can pretty much run the ball on anyone regardless of how good your run defense is.

    When the Broncos play the Raiders, Peyton Manning better get used to watching the game from the sideline, as the Raiders will control the clock for majority of the game.

    Sure, the Raiders might not retain Michael Bush, but who cares? The Raiders still have one of the most dangerous RBs in the game, Darren McFadden

    Peyton Manning will be facing three teams with a very good rushing attack. I'm sure Manning is more than confident bringing in his 22nd-ranked run defense, especially when they haven't done anything thus far to solidify that area.

Romeo Crennel: Original Mastermind Behind Beating Peyton Manning

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    The following are Peyton Manning's versus Romeo Crennel, the current head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

     

    2001 LOSS: 20-of-34, 196 passing yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs.

    2001 LOSS: 22-of-34, 355 passing yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs.

    2003 LOSS: 29-of-48, 278 passing yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT.

    2003 LOSS: 23-of-47, 237 passing yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs.

    2004 LOSS: 16-of-29, 256 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT.

    2004 LOSS: 27-of-42, 238 passing yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT.

     

    Here is where things get interesting...

     

    2005 WIN: 19-of-23, 228 passing yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT.

    2008 WIN: 15-of-21, 125 passing yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs.

    2010 WIN: 26-of-44, 244 passing yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT.

     

    Looking at these statistics, it shows that Peyton Manning struggles against Romeo Crennel when he's on the opposite sideline picking apart his offense. What's fascinating here is the fact that when Manning did win the last three meetings, he threw no TDs at all.

    You want to know the scores in that game? In 2005, Crennel was the coach of the Browns and the score between the two was 13-6. In 2008, Crennel was still with the Browns and the score was 10-6. Lastly in 2010, Crennel was the defensive coordinator of the Chiefs and the score was 19-9.

    Look at all these facts and you be the judge. Did Manning really make the right decision here? Heck no. 

In Conclusion

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    Do I have you folks convinced yet? It'd be different if Manning had the weapons like he did back in Indianapolis, but that isn't the case here.

    NFL analysts say that the Broncos have a great pass rush. So what? He had that in Indianapolis, too. 

    Peyton Manning should have gone to the 49ers, where he would have had everything: a run defense; a very good offensive line and receivers that were second to none; and a coach more than willing to let him loose on that offense.

    Nope. That made too much sense. Manning decided to go to the division where his team has a poor run defense against three solid rushing attack offenses.

    Manning decided to go to the division that has the San Diego Chargers, whom he has performed less than admirably against for some time. Lastly, he's going to lose against a Romeo Crennel-led defense in Kansas City because he isn't bringing the weapons he had in Indy.

    Peyton Manning is a great guy and the AFC West is weak. The problem is that the AFC West is a tough division, but only to Manning himself. Good luck trying to win this division, because your only chance is 10-6 in Denver while hoping the competition ends up with 9-7 or 8-8 records.

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