18. QB PEYTON MANNING
Obviously, Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history, but he was drafted in 1998, so the past decade captures only the last part of his career. Still, that was good enough to propel him into the top 20 of this list. Manning’s late-career revival in Denver was a remarkable thing to watch. Fresh off a neck injury that threatened to end his career, Manning retaught himself how to play the game within his new physical limitations and then put up back to back seasons with a PFF grade above 90.0, including the greatest statistical season of his career with 55 touchdown passes and almost 5,500 yards. Manning eventually grabbed a second Super Bowl ring, but his play in the years before that was what propelled him up this list.
Of course, the greatest player in Colts’ franchise history only played one season of the past decade in ‘Horseshoe Blue’ during 2010, completing 450 of 679 passes (66.3%) for 4,700 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions in all 16 starts—leading the Colts to a 10-6 record and taking them to a Wild Card playoff game—in what would unknowingly at the time be his last game for Indianapolis.
Unfortunately, Manning then missed the entirety of the 2011 season with a potentially career-ending neck injury, and his iconic Colts career concluded soon thereafter.
During his 5 seasons played in the past decade (including four with the Denver Broncos), Manning completed 1,893 of 2,849 passing attempts (66.4%) for 21,812 passing yards, 173 touchdowns, and 70 interceptions in 73 starts.
In that half of the past decade, he was a Super Bowl Champion, NFL MVP, 2x First-Team All-Pro, NFL Offensive Player of the Year, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and a 4x Pro Bowler.
He also led the league in both passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2013 with a prolific Denver Broncos’ passing attack.
While QB wins aren’t a stat, Manning went 55-18 during that span, and his teams made the playoffs all five seasons—including two Super Bowl appearances with the Broncos.
Manning is arguably the best quarterback to ever play the sport—and even in his age 34-39 year old campaigns after a serious neck surgery, he was still plenty dominant at times.
While it’s still pretty weird ever seeing him in a Denver Broncos jersey, it further cemented his lasting legacy and greatness, as Manning is the only starting quarterback in NFL history to win two Super Bowls with two different franchises.
He ended his illustrious career on a high note as a Super Bowl Champion—riding off into the sunset in 2015 after coincidentally, 18 magical NFL seasons.