In Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Peyton Manning had the worst game of his career, completing just five passes for 35 yards, while also throwing four interceptions, a performance that wasn’t helped by a slew of injuries Manning is dealing with now.
By any measure, the game was bad, really bad.
In 288 career starts prior to Sunday, including the playoffs, Manning had never completed fewer than 12 passes or thrown for fewer than 95 yards in a game (he had 35 on Sunday) in which he threw at least 15 passes.
He also became the first quarterback in 29 years to throw at least four interceptions without completing more than five passes, according to ESPN.
Pro Football Focus gave Manning the worst grade they have ever given to a quarterback in a game.
He also scored a 0.0 passer rating. As PFF notes, “if you take the ball and throw it into the turf every play you have a passer rating of 39.6. Manning was nearly 40 points worse than that.”
But none of that sums up just how bad Manning was better than this ESPN graphic:
Manning completed three passes to Broncos players past the line of scrimmage. He completed four to the Chiefs defenders and there could have been at least one more that was dropped by a defensive back.
Even more troubling is that Manning completed just one pass that was more than five yards down the field.
Looking at some of the interceptions, it is easy to see why. Manning had absolutely no arm strength on Sunday, consistently underthrowing his receivers on throws downfield.
This can be explained in part by the injuries, including the torn plantar fascia in his foot. Although it doesn’t explain why he thought he could make the throws in the first place.
More troubling is some of Manning’s decisions, like this simple throw over the middle. Manning seemingly never sees the linebacker and throws it right to him. This is a mistake that the Manning we all know and love would never do.
At this point, for a team trying to win a Super Bowl, it is hard to imagine Manning is a better option than back-up Brock Osweiler until Manning is once again 100% healthy, whenever that might be.
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