In 2013, Peyton Manning completed 68.3 percent of his passes for an NFL-record 5,477 yards and an NFL-record 55 touchdowns. He also had just 10 interceptions in 659 attempts.
That was only two seasons ago.
This year, however, was a different story, as Manning, 39, completed just 59.8 percent of his passes – his lowest since his rookie season – for nine touchdowns. He also had 17 interceptions in 331 attempts.
In other words, Manning’s decline has been fast, precipitous and unforgiving.
“That’s kind of what happens when you get to that age where your body just starts betraying you and you get old in a hurry,” New York Daily News NFL columnist Gary Myers said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench.
And then there’s Tom Brady, who, at 38, threw 36 touchdowns to only seven interceptions this year. In fact, Brady has thrown for 33+ touchdowns and single-digit interceptions in four of the last six seasons.
Father Time catches up to everyone, but it hasn’t caught up to Brady. It doesn’t figure to catch up to him anytime soon, either.
“The way Tom figures, it’s not going to happen to him for another 10 years,” Myers said. “I will say this: Other than Tom missing all but the first quarter of the first game of the 2008 season when he tore his ACL seven minutes into the season, he’s been pretty healthy. He’s been amazingly healthy. He hasn’t missed any starts. Later in his career, we’ve heard more and more about what a nutrition nut he is and what a fitness nut he is and what he puts in his body. It doesn’t sound like he eats a meal that would interest you or I, but it keeps him pretty healthy. He’s just a workout warrior. So I would say at this point, his body is in much better shape to withstand multiple NFL seasons from this point going forward than Peyton was a year ago.”