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Peyton Manning: The Last Run

Manning in action against the Oakland Raiders.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Many NFL fans are used to watching Peyton Manning set records throughout the NFL season. Those same NFL fans are used to seeing Peyton Manning disappoint in the playoffs as well.

Sunday night's matchup between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers will be another big test in the career of Peyton Manning.

Manning is arguably the best quarterback in this generation. Manning has surpassed nearly 5,477 yards in the regular season, and a record-breaking 55 touchdowns. Manning will undoubtedly be the Most Valuable Player.

Manning currently has a 9-11 playoff record, in which it places him in the same category with another great future Hall of Famer quarterback in Brett Favre. Last year, the Denver Broncos lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 38-35, in which the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl.

Another interesting statistic to note about Peyton Manning is that he has reached the playoffs 12 times, and a Peyton Manning-led team has lost eight times in the first game.

San Diego poses a real threat and presents a matchup problem for the Denver Broncos. This game will come down to which defense shows up. San Diego's turnaround was anchored by their defense in the month of December. Last week against Cincinnati, the San Diego defense came up big in stopping Andy Dalton and company. Offensively, Denver's defense will need to find a way to contain Phillips Rivers and Melvin Ingram and Jarret Johnson.

What will be crippling for the Denver defense is not having the nucleus of their defense. The Broncos will be without Rahim Moore, Derek Wolfe, and talented Von Miller.

The running game will also play a role in this game. Ryan Miller ran the ball hard and had a major impact in San Diego's win against the Broncos in the regular season. The Broncos need to rely more on their running game, and get Knowshon Moreno involved.

Even though the Broncos are favored to win, in many NFL critic's eyes the Broncos will have to overcome a lot to obtain the victory. The two concerns of the Broncos are the injuries to key players in their defense, and not knowing what Peyton Manning will bring to the table in another playoff game?

Either way, Manning will need to show the sports world that he can win in the playoffs, in hopes of hosting the AFC championship game next week against his rival, Tom Brady.

Manning does not only have to win for the city of Denver and its fans, but also to save his legacy and winning in the playoffs.

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