Peyton Manning has torn through the first four games of the NFL season. He’s passed for 16 touchdowns. he hasn’t thrown an interception. The Denver Broncos — and Manning — look indomitable.
“Four teams have tried to stop them, and they haven’t yet,” Chip Kelly said Sunday after his Philadelphia Eagles became the fourth team to fail in the attempt.
The Broncos are good, ridiculously good. If there were such a thing, they’d be lapping the field. With 179 points, they are on pace to finish with 716, which would obliterate the record of 589 set by the New England Patriots in 2007. Manning is on pace to do a bit of obliterating himself. At this rate, his numbers (via USA Today) would be 468-of-624 passing with a 75 percent completion rate for 5,880 yards and 64 TDs. All would be NFL records. He’d also finish with zero interceptions, which can’t happen, although betting against Peyton Manning in any month other than January is a bad idea.
Manning has had one big advantage so far: his team played three of their four games in Denver. “While the Seattle Seahawks have the best home-field advantage of any team in the NFL, the Denver Broncos clearly have the second-best,” ESPN’s Matt Williamson writes. “Their advantage mostly stems from the lack of oxygen due to the high altitude, but combining that with Peyton Manning’s up-tempo, no-huddle offense has made the Broncos look unbeatable at home. This team is built to play at Mile High, and that’s why it’s so important for Denver to secure home-field advantage for the playoffs.”
And their first four opponents are 4-12. The Broncos and Manning should be mopping up.
“The Broncos could very well go 15-1 or 16-0, but then they enter the playoffs,” USA Today’s Mike Foss writes. “The playoffs, where Peyton Manning is just 9-11, with eight of those losses coming in his team’s first game, and an 86.2 passer rating.
“Manning is playing great right now against an easy schedule. How will he perform when it matters?”
How will he do?