Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports joined Mut & Merloni to talk about Sunday's Patriots-Broncos matchup and other NFL news.
Peyton Manning continues his comeback tour when he brings the Broncos to Foxboro this weekend. King said Manning might not be the same as he was pre-injury, but he's not that far off.
"I see 95 percent of the same guy," King said. "I think it's a nice story for people to say, in essence, that Manning's done, he can't throw anymore and all that. But just watch the games so far. He made some stupid throws against the Atlanta Falcons -- two or three of them, where he hung them up there. He just got greedy. He admitted after the game, he got greedy.
"Look, Peyton Manning can not throw the way he used to, He admitted that to me in training camp. But it doesn't mean that he still can't be a great quarterback in the NFL. Right now, this guy is basically on pace to throw for 32 touchdowns and 4,600 yards. And I don't know if he will do that. But how can anybody who completes 65 percent, throws 4,600 yards and 32 touchdowns, how can that guy be washed up? I don't see it."
Touching on the situation in New York with the struggling Jets, King said to expect to see Tim Tebow behind center soon, with third-stringer Greg McElroy not far behind.
"It's not going to take very long for Tebow to get a shot," King said. "I don't care what anybody with the Jets says. I don't care when they talk about guys dropping passes, anything like that. The bottom line in this whole thing is Mark Sanchez is completing 49 percent of his passes. They've had a lot of injuries, but he's completing 49 percent of his passes, and he looks lousy. He's coming off a season in which he completed 56 percent of his passes and ended the season looking terrible.
"So, if you're Rex Ryan and you think that your season is going down the tubes, which it is, I don't see any reason why if they stink it up against the Texans Monday night, you give me one good reason why he doesn't play Tebow against Indianapolis and then give Tebow a shot when they go to Foxboro in two weeks.
"Now, I've maintained this the whole year. I think at some point, because Tebow's not going to be accurate, he's not going to improve his accuracy overnight. At some point, I think this team, they may go back to Sanchez for a game or two or three. But I just think that -- and I've said it all year -- I think Greg McElroy is going to start multiple games for this team."
Sanchez backers point to the fact that the Jets are in the midst of a very difficult portion of their schedule, having faced the Steelers and 49ers in two of the past three weeks, with the Texans up next and the Patriots two weeks after that. King poked a hole in that argument.
"You've got good teams on the schedule. And if you're going to play lousy against those good teams, who do you think you're going to be facing in games that really mean something?" King said. "I'm not a big fan of saying, 'Well, it's San Francisco and Houston, and what could Tebow have done?' I saw what Sanchez did against San Francisco, and it was putrid."