Manning vs Sherman – Who Cares About Arm Strength?

Sherman, Manning

Everything gets blown up and magnified during Super Bowl week, especially anything Richard Sherman has to say about Peyton Manning and his fading arm strength.

In a column published on, Sherman listed the five smartest quarterbacks in the NFL. Manning was in first place according to him, but not without some imperfections he decided to note to everyone.

His arm, however, is another story. His passes will be accurate and on time, but he throws ducks.

Sherman was obviously asked about this matter by reporters during a 45-minute conversation that stuck more to the topic of football, as opposed to media day.

Even more obviously, he had no problem answering questions about the matter.

I still feel the same way I felt. He’s a great quarterback, he does a great job. But at the same time, when he catches the ball, he doesn’t necessarily catch the laces all the time. But he throws an accurate ball, regardless of how he catches it, how he gets it — he delivers it on time and accurately. 

Richard Sherman

Manning’s arm strength has been a subject of discussion since he signed with the Broncos in 2012. The Broncos started that season at 3-3, and some questioned his ability to hit the deep ball. Two consecutive 13-3 seasons removed that lack of confidence from anyone’s mind, as Manning showed it’s not about how far he throws the ball but where it actually goes.

He has a Total QBR of 89.6 when throwing 10 yards or shorter outside the right field numbers — the same side of the field Richard Sherman has played 98% of his snaps.

Manning Passing Within 10 Yards
Of Line Of Scrimmage

Total QBR TD-Int
Outside left numbers 82.0 8-2
Between numbers 74.0 22-3
Outside right numbers 89.6 11-0

And who is going to play on Sherman’s side of the field? Demaryius Thomas is everyone’s popular choice, but according to Sherman, he isn’t going to be moved to shadow a specific receiver. He’s going to stay on his side and take on whoever comes.

Thomas himself is quite amused by any kind of criticism anyone has to offer about Manning’s throwing ability considering what we’ve seen from him this season.

Demaryius Thomas

You really have to wonder what people are looking at and what standard they’re using. I know I don’t really pay attention to that. It can be the ugliest ball, the prettiest ball, as long as it gets there, and 99.99 percent of the time, his passes are on the money and in the best spot they can possibly be. I told the guys when he first got here, the ball from Peyton is like catching tissue paper. No matter where you are on the field, it just falls into your hands. It’s accurate, it’s in the perfect spot, and it’s easy to catch. All you have to do is put your hands out there.

How good was it? The Broncos set an NFL record for scoring this season with 606 points and another season mark with 75 touchdowns. They were the first team in NFL history to have five players with at least 10 touchdowns. Sherman might be right about Manning not throwing it as strong and deep as he did before, but it seems that’s he has adapted to that, and it doesn’t really matter he’s going shorter than ever if it gets the job done.

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