While it only lasted for a quarter, yesterday Peyton Manning looked decidedly like his former self; the most notable difference was a lack of a horseshoe on the side of his helmet. Changing the play at the line, making hand gestures to his receivers, backing out from under center immediately before the snap, sliding around in the pocket just out of reach of the oncoming defense. Oh yes, and making some perfect throws and scoring points like it was his job or something.
He took a big hit. He looked seriously engaged on the sideline. He coached up his teammates. Even he admits that he’s not yet 100%, and the rest of the league should worry even if he never gets back there.
So aside from the cap implications and the #1 pick and the luck of Luck waiting in the wings and whether Jim Irsay’s choice was inspired or insane, I say this to all the doubters and naysayers, the pundits who insisted that he was done, that “four neck surgeries” were too many to recover from, that he was “one hit away” from retirement or — gasp! — certain death:
once and future fan of #18