Inlengthy NFL career, no quarterback has thrown more touchdowns and no player has reached more Pro Bowls, but a rough start to the 2015 season has many questioning the offensive approach of the with head coach now at the helm.
Manning has spent most of his career in the shotgun and it is where he feels most comfortable. With the Denver offensive line struggling to keep him upright and his arm showing significant signs of slowing, the Broncos coaching staff wants to establish a more balanced offense with a stronger running game, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
While that may sound like a logical solution, the adjustment could be a big one for Manning, who has finished with fewer than 500 pass attempts just twice in his career. In 2014, the Broncos finished with 607 pass attempts and 443 rush attempts, which was actually closer to balanced than in 2013.
Through two games, the Broncos have 85 pass attempts and 47 rushes, although the combination of C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman hasn't been particularly inspiring. The duo have 131 yards combined and the Broncos are averaging 2.8 yards per carry as a team, which would have been good enough for last in the NFL in 2014.
Another evaluator who has watched Denver's film from the first two weeks said, "It's obvious he's not really comfortable unless he's doing his thing in the shotgun. Kubiak is going to have to meet him in the middle more there. Can they protect him and can they run the football? If they can't, it's a lot to expect of him to carry the team for 16 games at this stage of his career."
Despite the offensive struggles, the Broncos survived back-to-back weeks against a pair of the NFL's top pass-rushing defenses and escaped with a 2-0 record. After struggling early in a Thursday game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Manning led the Broncos with a quick-passing offense out of the shotgun that resulted in three touchdowns, including a game-tying score with 36 seconds left at the end of a 10-play, 80-yard drive.
Denver will face thein Week 3, a team that also has dangerous pass rushers and finished eighth in the NFL in sacks in 2014, but managed just two against the in Week 1 and no longer has in the middle of the defensive line.
Through two weeks, Manning has already been sacked seven times and has thrown two interceptions that were each returned for touchdowns.