For many NFL players, the storybook ending often remains just that. A story. The league is unmerciful in moving forward while watching its legends fade into the abyss of retirement. For Peyton Manning, it appeared that his story was coming to a disheartening end. Amidst HGH allegations, injuries and a subsequent benching, many thought this was the last of Manning. You could feel the rage dripping from his words in his Sunday morning interview with Lisa Salters. His 39 year old body was failing him. His team had moved on from him. It appeared to be an unceremonious end for the one the league’s most prolific players. But then, the writers flipped the script. The Broncos offense couldn’t get out of its own way to the tune of five turnovers against the Chargers. With so much on the line, a sputtering Broncos offense turned back to the legend that had given all his body could this season.
To the roar of the the Denver crowd, Manning returned and seized the moment.The offense breathed new life with Manning at the helm. The Broncos scored 20 second half points en route to locking up the AFC’s number one seed. A season that’s seen Manning battle through the most adversity in his 18 year career seemed to karmically give him a final moment when a cloud of uncertainty loomed.
Now, an apparently rejuvenated Manning enters the postseason with the Broncos as the number one seed with the league’s number one defense behind him.The world wondered if they had seen the last of Peyton Manning. Sunday afternoon in Denver, they got their answer. Cue the final act.