Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is under the impression that his arm strength is getting better after the teams 10-6 win over the San Francisco 49ers last Friday. Manning completed most of his passes, but he didn’t show the kind of arm strength he had in the prime of his career while playing for the Indianapolis Colts.
Manning never really did have a strong arm compared to a lot of the NFL quarterbacks in the league, but he could sling it a little bit. Manning’s best asset was his accuracy in throwing the football, and he still has that at 37.
Manning said to Sirius XM Radio “When a defensive back like Chris Harris — who I practice against every day — when he says ‘Boy, the ball is getting there a little quicker, I have a little less reaction time,’ I really value that feedback. It’s hard for me to tell, but when I hear a receiver say ‘Yeah, that ball was there sooner than it was last year,’ that’s a good thing. Last year, maybe I did have a little bit more limited range.”
I think Harris might be blowing smoke up Manning’s backside, because his passes don’t appear to have anymore zip than they did last season in his first season coming off of neck surgery. Against the 49ers, Manning’s passes looked to be thrown with the same weakness as the Niners backup Colt McCoy, who is known for having a weak arm. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between him and Manning’s passes, other than Manning at least being able to complete his throws more often than not.
The arm strength wasn’t there for Manning, and it was kind of sad, especially when 49ers strong armed quarterback Colin Kaepernick was playing. The difference his passes and Mannings’ passes were like night and day. Kaepernick had a lot more heat on passes, and he was able to throw a lot farther without even trying.
If it makes Manning field better about his arm to have the other Broncos players tell him how strong his arm has gotten compared to last season, then so be it, but I don’t see it as being enough of a difference for it to really matter on the playing field. Manning’s arm isn’t strong, and it’s probably not going to ever be strong. He’s getting older, and I suspect that he’ll start losing more arm strength the longer he plays.