Manning to stay on at Denver next yearNFL fans and fantasy football owners debating Peyton Manning’s prowess and problems can continue that discussion well into the new year.
The five-time MVP says he plans to return to the Denver Broncos in 2015 for an 18th NFL season.
Manning was asked during his weekly news conference Wednesday if there were a set of circumstances that would lead him to retire after the upcoming playoffs.
“I have not thought about those circumstances at all,’’ Manning replied. “So, I certainly plan on being back, if the Broncos will have me. But at this point, I’m kind of thinking about Oakland.’’
A win over the Raiders (3-12) on Sunday would earn the Broncos (11-4) a first-round bye.
Manning said he knows talk this time of year turns to the coaching carousel and “I get to fall into that category because maybe I’m closer to the same age as some of the coaches. But yeah, I have no plans along those lines. I’m enjoying playing and looking forward to Sunday’s game and the game to follow that.’’
Manning, 38, is trying to supplant his boss, Broncos GM John Elway, as the oldest QB to win a Super Bowl.
But first, he’s trying to bounce back from a poor performance in Denver’s 37-28 loss Monday night at Cincinnati, where he threw four interceptions for the sixth time in his career.
Although the Broncos have down-shifted their high-octane offense over the past several weeks to work on a better ground game, Manning has thrown just five touchdown passes in the past month.
That sparked a debate over whether time is finally catching up to Manning despite his posting a 39-12 record following spinal fusion surgery in 2011.
With every interception, the debate grows in both traditional and social media over his age, health and even his credentials.
“Yeah, that’s probably a little deeper than I can handle,’’ Manning said. “... But the ones the other night were a combination of bad throws and bad decisions. ... I take a lot of pride in trying to be an accurate quarterback and trying to be disciplined in my decision making. So, I didn’t play up to my standards the other night and certainly on those four particular plays, I’ve got to do a better job.
“I’m not sure how old you are has [anything] to do with it. You can be 22 and throw a ball behind a guy, you’re probably going to get intercepted.’’