Don’t Call It a Comeback
by John Jastremski
Jan 13, 2016 | 8239 views | 0 0 comments | 130 130 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I won’t hide from the fact that I’m a sucker for a storybook ending, the sort of ending you’d see in a Kevin Costner movie. For certain athletes, you almost feel as if they deserve to have that sort of end to their career.

For the great athlete, you want to see them finish up their career the right way with a little flair for the dramatic giving you one last sense for how great they truly were.

Michael Jordan left that lasting image with his game winning shot in 1998 with the Bulls that sent him off into his second retirement; John Elway and Jerome Bettis ended Hall of Fame careers with a Super Bowl victory; and who could forget Derek Jeter’s walk-off single in his final game at Yankee Stadium in 2014.

Well, here we are starting off 2016 and we may be watching one last run for one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

Peyton Manning has been a shell of his former great self for most of the 2015 season. His age has certainly caught up with him; he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and things became so bleak for Manning he was benched back in mid-November after throwing four interceptions in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

It turns out Manning was dealing with multiple foot and leg injuries down the stretch of the season, so the Denver Broncos were wise to let Manning rest over a six-week stretch.

After the injury combined with the poor performance, many wondered if Peyton Manning had played his last down in the NFL.

From what you read and heard out of Denver, it appeared the Broncos were content in letting youngster Brock Osweiler take the reigns at quarterback into the postseason.

However, after Osweiller delivered a poor performance in the first half of the regular season finale against the San Diego Chargers, Peyton Manning came riding to the rescue.

His veteran presence sparked the Broncos in the second half to a victory and propelled them to home field advantage throughout the postseason in the AFC.

In this day in age in the NFL where player discipline has become such an issue, Peyton Manning exemplifies everything you should want in a football player.

That’s the brains, leadership and always handling each and every game, practice and interview session in a first-class manner. It would behoove other players around the league to take notes on how Peyton Manning conducted himself throughout his illustrious career.

On and off the field.

The Broncos won’t ride the right arm of Manning alone all the way to the Super Bowl. It’ll be a collective team effort.

They feature arguably the best defense in the sport and a terrific running game. They’ll need both to compliment the old gunslinger.

I’m glad that the postseason will give us the opportunity to watch Peyton Manning one last time.

His career doesn’t need another signature run, but it’d be awfully sweet to see one of the best quarterbacks of all time, get the Hollywood story book goodbye.

Peyton Manning deserves it.

I remember Manning’s current boss John Elway riding into the sunset after winning his second Super Bowl with, ironically enough, the Denver Broncos.

I hope the Broncos have a little case of déjà vu in Arizona come February.

JJ’S Divisional Round Unlocks

(Season Record: 38-44-3)

• Kansas City +5

• Arizona -7

• Carolina -3

• Denver -6.5
You can listen to me on Sunday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 66/101.9 FM.

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