The Denver Broncos announced today that Peyton Manning will start at quarterback in their divisional round playoff game next week.
Manning beat out Brock Osweiler, who took over as the team's starter when Manning was injured (against the Colts in week nine) and then won the job, as Manning was the backup in the regular season finale. With Osweiler and the rest of the offense struggling, however, Denver turned to Manning, who sparked the team and the crowd. After making that move, there really was no other choice: head coach Gary Kubiak had to play Manning for their playoff game. He came out of the regular season finale healthy and therefore will be ready to go in two weeks against one of the two winners from the AFC Wild Card games (Denver, as the number one seed, will face the lowest remaining seed in the divisional round).
Manning, of course, played most of his career with the Indianapolis Colts and was their quarterback for 19 playoff games (in eleven different appearances). Manning played in 208 regular season games with the Colts and completed 64.9% of his passes for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns with 198 interceptions for a 94.9 passer rating. He has added to those totals during his four years in Denver, becoming the league's all-time leader in passing touchdowns and passing yards. This will be the 15th season in Peyton Manning's career in which he made the playoffs, and he has played in 24 postseason games (his teams are 11-13 in those games). He has completed 598 of 935 passes (64%) for 6,800 yards (2nd most all-time), 38 touchdowns (4th most all-time), 24 interceptions (5th most all-time), and an 88.5 passer rating (14th best all-time).
The Indianapolis Colts aren't in the playoffs this year, but the greatest and most impactful player in team history will once again be making a postseason start. It's very possible that this will be the last we see of one of the NFL's all-time greats, so it would be nice to see Manning have success and go out on top. Since the Colts aren't in the playoffs, is that what you're rooting for? Are you cheering for Manning and the Broncos? Bruce Arians and the number of other Colts with the Cardinals? Anyone but the Patriots? Regardless, Peyton Manning will be the starting quarterback for the Broncos in the divisional round, so it will be definitely worth watching.