Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Finally, the wait is over for the NFL and Kansas City Chiefs. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has announced his return.
What exactly does that mean, though?
Well, with Manning returning to play his 18th season, the AFC West that once seemed wide open without Peyton now favors the Broncos to finish in first place again. There is no doubt that Manning is an elite quarterback. Well, at least two years ago. Yes, he has shattered many records, but he has also been playing for 17—going on 18—years. Even before the torn quad injury he suffered last year, he was still showing his age.
The Chiefs have never beat Manning while he has been the starter in Denver. They’ve put forth competitive efforts, but the Broncos have always seemed to come out on top. Manning has always seemed to have KC’s number and been able to do what he pleases against its defense—a fact that haunts many Chiefs fans. He has become something of a great white buffalo to the Chiefs, always coming close to it but being just out of reach.
2015 may finally be the year that the Chiefs catch their elusive prey and take him down. Yes, perhaps he may be an aged QB, playing just to get his next ring, but does that take away the sweet taste of victory? Not in the slightest. Yes, beating a weaker, older Manning might not be as glamorous as taking him down in his prime, but a win is a win.
Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs fan holds a sign in reference to Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) (not pictured) during the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
So do the Chiefs finally have a (realistic) shot at conquering the king of Denver? Yes, they do. The Chiefs should be able to make some defensive strides, and getting key players like Derrick Johnson will help anchor the middle. On offense, yes, they need playmakers, and of course they need to upgrade the receiving corps. But they still have the ability to take down Denver, especially at Arrowhead.
The return of Manning is disheartening for the Chiefs, as he was the main reason Denver has been so dominant in the West. But his age may just be the vulnerability that allows KC to finally take down the great white buffalo.
What do you think, Addicts? Do the Chiefs have a shot at beating Manning and Co. in 2015?
Sound off below.