Peyton Manning only played in the first half of the 31-14 over the Oakland Raiders this past weekend. With the Broncos up 31-0, Manning was taken out of the game. Another reason he left was he padded his touchdown total to 55 on the year, solidifying the single season record. Manning had also set the new mark for passing yards in a season with 5,477. That mark was one yard greater than the mark set by Drew Brees in 2011.
But wait. The NFL is reviewing a play from the victory. The play in question was a seven yard completion to Eric Decker inside of two minutes left in the first half. Depending on which camera angle you look it you can make a different determination. One angle shows the pass appearing legitimate while the other gives the impression it was a lateral and thus a running play. To me that would resemble a replay review where there is not enough evidence to overturn the play. The NFL regularly reviews plays following the weekend game but none normally carry the weight of this decision.
Manning sat the entire second half with no reason to play but in hindsight I cannot help but wonder if he wishes he played the first series of the second half. In his shoes it would have been better to beat the record by 15 or 20 yards than one. With the level of adjustments in the NFL there is no reason to leave something to chance. This could put a sour note on New Year’s for Peyton but I can only assume there would be a small smile on the face of one Drew Brees if it is overturned.