2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Elway at 37… Manning at 37

Published: July 20, 2013, 4:54 pm, by Paul Klee

We’re running a column on Peyton Manning in Sunday’s Gazette. In it, we take a look at the Broncos quarterback at the age of 37 — the age of John Elway when he brought his first Super Bowl title to Colorado.

The central question posed in the column: Is Manning actually in his prime?

That’s not something we’d usually associate with a QB nearing 40. But the stats might just back it up. In his past three seasons on the field, Manning’s thrown for 4,500, 4,700 and 4,659 yards — three of the four highest totals of his career.

Regardless, here were Elway’s numbers at 37 and 38.

1997: 16 games, 280-for-502, 3,635 yards (227.2 ypg), 27 TDs (career high), 11 INTs.

1998: 13 games, 210-for-356, 2,806 (215.8 ypg), 22 TDs, 10 INTs.

Of course, those Broncos leaned on a legendary offensive line and the running game late in Elway’s career.

“I think the one thing that we did was Mike made a conscious decision to say, ‘You know what? I’m going to ride Terrell Davis, no matter what,’” Shannon Sharpe told me in January.

More on Manning in Sunday’s Gazette.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette