The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 16, 2013

Manning plays football like its chess

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Just two years removed from the neck troubles that weakened his right arm but strengthened his resolve, Peyton Manning is off to the best start by any quarterback in NFL history.

He returns to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday a much better player than the one who left Indianapolis teary-eyed in 2012 after the Colts let him go in favor of Andrew Luck.

Manning has four terrific targets in Denver to go with the skill, intellect, work ethic and determination he’s always had.

With Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Julius Thomas sharing the catches, the unbeaten Broncos are averaging an eye-popping 42 points a game. Manning has thrown for a record 22 TDs in the first six weeks, and Knowshon Moreno is keeping defenses honest with a league-leading seven TD runs.

Manning loves dissecting defenses and poring over game film but hates digging deep into his own psyche to decipher what makes him tick.

Listen closely to some of his words, though:

“I love practicing every day.”

“I’m still learning.”

“By no means do I have everything figured out.”

This from the four-time MVP who narrowly missed out on a fifth last year.

Most quarterbacks blowing out 37 candles on their birthday cake tire of the tedium of meetings, practices and workouts. They start daydreaming about life after football.

Not Manning.

“Everybody enjoys playing in an NFL football game, but I still enjoy the preparation, the work ... and being effective,” Manning said.

Take him out of his comfort zone, put him in a new city with a new team. It’s the perfect challenge.

The beauty of Peyton Manning is his beautiful mind.

NBC football analyst Cris Collinsworth said the line he hears most from opponents is “he’s playing chess when most of us are playing checkers.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again

    MILWAUKEE — Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win Tuesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioner calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks....

    April 16, 2014

  • Fielder finally goes deep as Rangers shut out Mariners

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers, Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014

  • Warriors trying to move on without Bogut

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Go small or go home....

    April 16, 2014

  • White Sox wear Boston Strong on 1-year anniversary

    CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have paid tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing before their game against the Red Sox....

    April 16, 2014

  • Hot goalie syndrome

    The NHL playoffs have arrived, which means it’s time for the goalies to get going....

    April 16, 2014

  • Musings from the Masters

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — The moment doesn’t get much bigger than this — a 20-foot putt on the 18th green Sunday at Augusta National for the win. Too bad this wasn’t the Masters....

    April 16, 2014

  • Green jacket and golden moment for Bubba Watson

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — For all the crazy stunts Bubba Watson does for fun, the green jacket was off limits....

    April 15, 2014

  • Lynn, Cardinals snap Brewers’ 9-game win streak

    Associated Press MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers’ nine-game winning streak was snapped Monday night when Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-0 victory. Lynn ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Evans, Pelicans stun Thunder 101-89

    NEW ORLEANS — Tyreke Evans scored a career-high 41 points to go with nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped an eight-game skid by shocking the playoff-bound Thunder 101-89 on Monday night....

    April 15, 2014

Video
Facebook