Peyton Manning has been a quarterback in the NFL since he was drafted first overall by the Indianapolis Colts back in 1998. But as quarterbacks progresses through this league, they tend to struggle to maintain the quality they once had.
Manning is no exception, as we have evidently seen this year. Across the 2015 regular season, the Denver Broncos star was only able to throw nine touchdowns and 2,249 passing yards, but a staggering 17 interceptions.
The struggle is real, and many have questioned if this will be The Sheriff's last season in the league. One person that knows what Manning is going through is Broncos boss and former quarterback John Elway.
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He said on his own career to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post: “It is hard. And it is hard, the older you get. And it is harder, . . . all of a sudden to make that adjustment and start relying on other people, when you’ve relied on yourself for so long to be that guy who’s going to pull the trigger and be that guy in big games that has to pull it out.
“There is a transition to that. And it is tough.”
Eventually, every player has to call it a day on their playing career in the league, that's an unavoidable fact. Manning's time might be coming this season because he hasn't been the sole reason why the Broncos made the playoffs this year like he was in the past.
Elway knows that feeling, as he reflected on his own two Super Bowl wins near the end of his playing career and said: “When we won those two championships, what was the formula? The formula was to play good defense and really, offensively, it was about running the ball.”
Sounds similar to what's happening in Denver right now. With the added incentive of another $2 million if he wins the AFC Championship this weekend against the New England Patriots and another $2m for winning the Super Bowl, if this is his last season, Manning will want to follow in the footsteps of Elway and go out in style.