Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. He is a magician on the field and can throw the ball like no one else.
Manning has a knack for turning average receivers into superstars, but he has never had a running game to support him.
In 2010, Manning was counted on to throw the ball 671 times, almost 100 more passing attempts than any other season. In his first year with offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen, Manning arguably had his worst year, and the Colts seem unorganized and old.
Though Manning's receiving corps was riddled with injuries, he was still able to throw for 33 touchdowns and 4,700 yards because he's, well, Peyton Manning.
Why he will underperform in 2011:
Listen, I am as shocked to see Peyton on this list as the next guy. But look at the facts.
Manning is entering his 14th season as the Colts' starting quarterback, and he is still a superstar. But I don't think he will be the same Peyton Manning in 2011 that we're all used to seeing.
Manning is coming off neck surgery and will not be ready for the start of training camp. And there is no telling when he will be back. Manning is not one to miss games due to injury, but after a pretty poor season in Christensen's offense, and unable to read the playbook all off-season, missing camp will be critical for Manning.
The Colts offensive line is poor. I know, I know, they added plenty of depth through the draft that should be able to protect Manning, but these guys are young and inexperienced. They may be superstars one day, but they will have a learning curve to fill after missing the entire off-season. Unfortunately, their mistakes will come at the expense of Manning.
Manning is being gifted by coming into a pretty solid receiving corps, but their history of recent injuries. Reggie Wayne is a star, we know that, but can Dallas Clark, Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez stay on the field long enough to be effective targets for Manning? I guess we will find out, but I don't trust it.
Manning has a lot of obstacles to overcome and I think it might just be to much for the quarterback to handle. The quarterback is legend already, but 2011 might be a bump in the road for the Colts leader.
2011 Stat Prediction: 30 TD, 21 Int, 64.0 Comp Pct