Denver is most definitely a Broncos/NFL town. Once the NFL season begins to roll around, the vast majority of sports fans want to talk only about football. This week, by far, the most common topic among my friends, co-workers, and fellow football fans was the wobbly passes of Peyton Manning during last weekend's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. It was as if all the worry and concern that he's not the same quarterback he used to be came out from the fans all in one week because of the wobbles.
Manning's Effectiveness Is still There
Lemme tell you, Broncos fans. That's an aesthetic issue. The passes are still getting there. He might not have looked good at times in the quality of the spiral but Manning threw 23 passes and completed 16 of them. Some of the incompletions were just straight out drops by his receivers (one wide open in the end zone). Two of the incompletions were interceptions. Of those interceptions, one was tipped at the line of scrimmage (or else Manning simply didn't see the defensive lineman back off the line) and the other was an experiment. One of his favorite plays is tossing that approximately 20-yard pass right down the middle of the field to a fairly well-covered receiver. That pass was a little bit too long and too well-covered, but it's such a popular route for Manning that it's something that he'll continue to work on Sunday when the Broncos play the San Francisco 49ers.
Why So Critical Of The Wobble?
If the passes are getting to where they're supposed to go, why critize what it looks like? Broncos fans had Tim Tebow last year. The guy could throw a pretty pass. There were plenty of pretty spirals that landed at the feet of wide open receivers or 10 feet over their heads. I watched the New York Jets preseason game last week against the New York Giants and watched Tebow throw the prettiest pass you ever saw to a wide-open wide receiver in the end zone that landed at the guy's feet.
I'm not sure why there's a wobble to Manning's passes. I don't know if it's still indicative of some lingering issues from his nerve damage in his throwing arm. I don't know if he's pressing too hard at this point. I attended the first day of training camp open to Broncos fans and noticed wobbly passes in the 15-25-yard range but that was about it. His velocity looks fine, and his accuracy looks great.
If we notice as time goes by that the wobbles decrease in frequency, then clearly it's due to his physical issues and that his strength is continuing to improve. Every quarterback throws wobbles, and I'm pretty certain he occasionally threw wobbly passes before his neck surgeries. As long as the pass gets to where it's supposed to go, and he doesn't throw a couple interceptions a game once the regular season starts, there's nothing to worry about. For now, I'm simply enjoying this amazing aerial attack that the Broncos are once again capable of, and how it's being used with the run to make this Broncos offense far more dynamic than it's been in years.
Julie is a featured NFL contributor for the Yahoo Contributor Network. She's been a fan of the Denver Broncos since moving to Denver in 2001.