Manning completed 13 of 23 passes for 141 yards and an interception in Sunday's 24-10 Super Bowl victory over the Panthers. He was also sacked five times and fumbled twice, losing one. Unlike his first Super Bowl victory nearly a decade ago, Manning was much more of a secondary figure Sunday, largely managing the game while C.J. Anderson ran effectively and the Broncos defense wreaked havoc on Cam Newton and company. The five-time MVP's arm was not a liability, although Manning did not test it downfield often, with his longest completion going for only 25 yards. His one interception came with 4:23 left in the second quarter, when Manning failed to see the Panthers' Kony Ealy in front of Emmanuel Sanders at the Carolina 20-yard line. The miscue was notably Manning's first interception in his last 164 postseason passes. He also endured heavy pressure from an aggressive Panthers front, suffering five sacks and losing a fumble on a hit by Ealy at the Panthers 48-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Having now capped off a 2015 season marked by injury and persistent questions about his arm strength with a Super Bowl victory, the matter of Manning's willingness to play next season will remain a burning question until he addresses the matter definitively one way or the other. Further complicating the decision may be the fact that Manning has already been informed he will eventually need hip replacement surgery, as Adam Schefter of ESPN reported earlier this week.
Manning completed 17 of 32 passes for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Sunday's win over the Patriots in the AFC championship game. He also lost a fumble. The Sheriff and company were limited to just 275 yards of offense Sunday, but his ability to limit the turnovers and cash in on good field position secured a trip to next month's Super Bowl. Manning clearly isn't on the same level physically as he was in the past, but his experience and leadership ability have him knocking on the door of another championship as the sun sets on his storied career. Manning will now have a couple of weeks to rest up before facing the winner of Sunday's NFC championship game between the Cardinals and the Panthers.
Manning completed 21 of 37 passes for 222 yards in Sunday's win over the Steelers. He failed to connect on a single touchdown pass. The veteran had thrown for a score in 13 straight postseason games heading into Sunday's contest, but he failed to extended his streak, as C.J. Anderson plowed in the Broncos' only touchdown. Manning did manage to avoid a turnover, despite the windy conditions, allowing Denver to rely on their defense and rushing attack to grind out a win. The Patriots, who Manning did not suit up against in a Week 12 victory, will come town next week, with the right to go to the Super Bowl on the line.
Manning has been named the Broncos' starter for their divisional round playoff game on Jan. 17. Head coach Gary Kubiak made the announcement Thursday morning after meeting with both Manning and Brock Osweiler, who had relieved Manning mid-season. Manning missed six games from Week 11 through Week 16 due to a plantar fascia injury, with Osweiler going 4-2 as the interim starter. Osweiler was under center to begin last Sunday's game against San Diego, but Manning entered in the third quarter as the Broncos struggled to move the ball. The veteran ended the game going 5-of-9 for 69 yards in the 27-20 Broncos victory. At this point, it's unclear whether Kubiak and the Broncos are committed to Manning as the starter throughout the playoffs, but it's not difficult to imagine Osweiler again coming on in relief at some point, should Manning struggle. As the No. 1 seed in the AFC, Denver will host the lowest remaining seed in the divisional round, which could be Houston, Kansas City or Pittsburgh.
Manning (foot) came on in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Chargers for the ineffective Brock Osweiler, and he completed five of nine passes for 69 yards. Osweiler was 14 of 22 for 232 yards and a touchdown before getting pulled, but he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, which led to his benching. The Broncos' rushing game was excellent, as Ronnie Hillman had 15 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown and C.J. Anderson rushed 15 times for 95 yards and a score of his own. Manning wasn't overly effective in the game, but he moved the ball down the field and eventually led the Broncos to a 27-20 victory, giving them the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Given the switch in the middle of the game, Manning is fully expected to start the Broncos' first playoff game, which will come after their opening-round bye.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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