Statistics and Peyton Manning

I just read a very interesting article from September of last year about what, statistically, Peyton Manning brings to a team. If you're interested in details about the statistics, click on the link, but the bottom line is that a Peyton-led passing game scores 9.1 points more per game than the average NFL passing game. This past season, our passing game was ranked 23rd, but for my feeble math mind's sake, let's assume that we were ranked 15th. Adding 9.1 points per game gives us the following:

Week 1: Lose to Patriots 38-33
Week 2: Lose to Texans 23-22
Week 3: Beat Browns 25-17
Week 4: Lose to Chargers 26-25
Week 5: Bye
Week 6: Lose to Jets 24-15
Week 7: Beat Broncos 24-18
Week 8: Beat Giants 26-20

So, after 8 weeks, instead of being 0-7, we'd be 3-4. Obviously better, but at this point in the season people would probably be calling for Ireland's/Peyton's head given the expectations he'd bring. But, the season continues...

Week 9: Beat Chiefs 40-3
Week 10: Beat Redskins 29-9
Week 11: Beat Bills 44-8
Week 12: Beat Cowboys 28-20
Week 13: Beat Raiders 45-14
Week 14: Lose to Eagles 26-19
Week 15: Beat Bills 39-23
Week 16: Beat Patriots 33-27
Week 17: Beat Jets 28-17

That would give us a record of 11-5. Patriots would still win the division and get the #1 seed (losing to us in Week 16 makes them 12-4). Steelers would get the #5 seed at 12-4. We'd have gotten a #6 seed and a trip to Houston in the wild card round.

So, what do we take from this little experiment? On the one hand, I'd take 11-5 and in the playoffs over 6-10 any day. However, we should be careful to think that Peyton is the difference between 6-10 and Super Bowl champions. Statistically, adding Manning to our team this year would get us the same number of wins as when Pennington was our QB.

All in all, am I for us signing Peyton? Absolutely - he gives us the best chance to win now while we develop either Matt Moore or a rookie from this or next year's draft. But am I expecting that he can return us to glory? Not necessarily. However, I am expecting that he'll return us to the playoffs. Given what we've been through in the last decade or so, that's certainly good enough for me.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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