It is a long season in the National Football League, and while Denver Broncos fans and personnel all wish for immediate success, we also realize that it takes a whole season to fulfill the goals of a team.
But along the way, let us take time to savor the remarkable fact that Peyton Manning takes his snaps in Denver.
When he first became a free agent, people chuckled at the prospect of him coming to Denver. Then, everyone could not believe it was a real possibility. Ultimately, he signed with the Broncos.
And now, as with all things, there is actually the possibility, as absurd as it seems, of taking Peyton Manning’s presence in the Broncos lineup for granted.
Never, ever take a moment of watching this player for granted. He is football royalty, both personally and by pedigree.
Consider the statistics that he is putting up in a new city, with a new system, new coaches, new teammates, and initially with every media member in America asking every conceivable question about health and adjustment.
Peyton Manning completed 31 of 44 passes (70.5%) for 337 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Denver’s 31-21 loss at New England, for a passer rating of 115.4.
Manning became only the second player in franchise history—Brian Griese was the first in 2000 and 2001—to throw for at least three touchdowns with zero interceptions in consecutive games.
His performance through five games marks just the fifth time in NFL history a player has accounted for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns, with three or fewer interceptions, and completing at least 66% of his passes through five games.
That list is Manning in 2010 and 2012, Matt Ryan of Atlanta this year as well, Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay in 2011 and Daunte Culpepper with Minnesota in 2004.
Peyton Manning is also on pace for a career best 4,822 passing yards, which would rank eighth in single season NFL history, along with his second best marks for both touchdowns (35) and interception avoidance (10).
And while Broncos fans watch each game with their normal passion and fervor, they also should remember we are all lucky enough to be watching one of the great quarterback seasons by one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.
And quite frankly, that might be an understatement.