Peyton Manning was supposed to get Super Bowl No. 2 this year, but the Seattle Seahawks stomped all over that in emphatic fashion Sunday in New Jersey. Now, Manning and the Broncos enter 2014 as favorites to once again win the AFC, so nobody is ruling out another Super Bowl shot.
What are the odds Manning gets back to the big game and actually wins it for the first time since 2006?
Well, history isn't exactly on his side. John Elway is the only quarterback ever to play in — and win — the Super Bowl beyond his 38th birthday. He did that before retiring in 1998. But because of when Manning's birthday falls, he'd actually be a couple months older than Elway if the Broncos were to play in next year's game in Glendale, Ariz.
In other words, Manning would have to become the oldest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl. Not only that, but he'd become the oldest position player ever to win the game. He'd also be the first quarterback to win it in or beyond his 17th season, something only Ray Lewis has done in the non-quarterback category.
Guys like Elway, Brett Favre, Kurt Warner and Warren Moon have had plenty of late-thirties success, but Manning would have to be an anomaly.
But if somebody's going to defy the odds, it's Peyton Manning. Sure, he might lose Eric Decker. But the defense will have Von MIller and Chris Harris back, and he'll have franchise left tackle Ryan Clady back on his blind side. This team should still be dominant.
So don't be surprised if the Broncos get back to the big game again in 2014. And if that happens and they can win, don't be surprised if Manning walks away making history, just as Elway did at the same age.
But if they fall short again, we'll likely be talking next year at this time about Manning's chances of winning as a 39-year-old.