Peyton Manning's last offensive drive included passes to Jacob Tamme and Blair White with a dash of Joseph Addai on the ground. That 2010 Wild Card game against the Jets seems like eons ago, not only for Colts fans, but your casual NFL fan, too.
His last drive is a microcosm of what the elder Manning brought to the line every single down. He possesses the innate ability to raise the game of those around him. From Tamme to White to Austin Collie to Pierre Garcon, Manning has made an art out of creating chicken soup from chicken droppings.
Up until now, all 13 professional seasons, this maestro's magic hat featured a horseshoe emblazoned on the side.
I will sidestep the arsenal of Andrew Luck/horseshoe puns and get right to the crux of Manning's future: all signs point to him signing with a new team in 2012.
Las Vegas bookmakers have set odds on where he will land:
The what-if scenarios are plentiful and where Whatifsports.com's NFL simulation engine (67.2% SU and 52.2% ATS in the regular season) takes center stage.
It's safe to assume that Arizona fans with John Skelton and a constantly hobbled Kevin Kolb behind center would be interested to see what Peyton Manning - at full strength - could have meant to the Cardinals 2011 season. The same simulation situation presents itself in Washington with the Rex Grossman/John Beck carousel, in Miami where Matt Moore tried his best and even in New York where Mark Sanchez is losing favor amongst the Jets fan base.
Using our NFL simulation engine, we added Manning - using his 2010 statistical resume - to each of those four rosters and simulated each teams' 2011 regular season schedule 251 times.
Peyton's New Places?
|2011 Team||Sim W / L||2011 W / L||Avg PPG (Actual)|
|Manning w/ Cardinals||11-5||8-8||26.6 (19.5)|
|Manning w/ Redskins||9-7||5-11||23.6 (18.0)|
|Manning w/ Dolphins||11-5||6-10||25.7 (20.6)|
|Manning w/ Jets||12-4||8-8||25.8 (23.6)|
Arizona believed Kevin Kolb was the answer to their quarterback quandary. After the front office tossed 21-million guaranteed dollars his way, Kolb struggled to live up to the lofty expectations before injuries sidelined him for most of the second half of the season. In nine games, he threw for less than 2,000 yards with nine touchdowns, eight interceptions, and an 81.1 QB rating.
With Manning behind center, the Cardinals won three more games and the offense averaged seven more points per game (versus reality) in our simulation. The scary thought of Manning chucking the rock in Larry Fitzgerald's direction aside, Early Doucet, Andre Roberts and Todd Heap's fantasy football value would receive a nice boost, too.
Manning's 2011 Simulation Stats
|2011 Team||Passing Yards||Touchdowns||Interceptions|
|Manning w/ Cardinals||4605||31||8|
|Manning w/ Redskins||4596||29||9|
|Manning w/ Dolphins||4369||31||9|
|Manning w/ Jets||4645||32||9|
*Manning's simulation stats are the average of the 251 schedule simulations
Rex Grossman/John Beck versus Peyton Manning? I'll wait until you stop laughing and catch your breath.
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