NFL Media's Michael Robinson, a former Seahawks fullback, had an insider's perspective on Seattle's destruction of Peyton Manning and the Broncos back in Super Bowl XLVIII. So it's not surprising that he thinks the future Hall of Fame quarterback is on his last legs now -- Robinson thought the same thing back in 2013.
"I think he does understand what this game means and everything, but I think Peyton is done, man," Robinson said Sunday on NFL Network's GameDay First. "I'm going to be honest with you. I'm just going to be honest. I think we saw the last greatness of Peyton when we beat him in the Super Bowl, to be honest with you. Can he go out there and give you a game or two here and there? Yeah. Can he check to a run in a six-man box and check into a pass in a seven-man box? Yeah, he can do that. But I know a lot of guys sitting on the bench that can do that, too."
Robinson, who has suffered from plantar fasciitis like Manning, is skeptical of the fact that Manning will rebound from last week's game and play effectively against a great defense. Manning's playoff start against the Steelers came after significant rest.
"I'm really interested in seeing how his feet feel, how comfortable he is this week, because last week he had some rest," Robinson said. "I don't know -- we're talking about his arm strength -- I don't know if that arm strength is going to show up. I don't. I just don't. Again, playing two games in a row, I've had plantar fasciitis before and that just doesn't go away. He's still going to have to deal with it. Again, to me, if I'm the Denver Broncos, I would have put Brock Osweiler in."
Robinson's opinion is certainly not an unpopular one, and it's caused an awkward situation for Denver head coach Gary Kubiak. Conventional wisdom and history suggest starting Manning is the right thing to do. He's played in more big games than Brock Osweiler has ever seen, and if anyone can find a way to down Tom Brady and the Patriots in the playoffs, it's most certainly him.
But with a team built to win now, do the parameters change? Kubiak knows the timeline he -- and this roster -- have. He knows what his players really think, and he knows what Manning is fully capable of accomplishing.