2 Legends - 30 all-star/pro-bowl selections - 6 MVP Trophies - 6 Championships. Yet despite the incredible and historic past, the road must end now. Peyton Manning - Quarterback for the Denver Broncos sits at 39 years of age, and has looked pathetic in the 2015 regular season. Kobe Bryant - Guard for the Los Angeles Lakers turned 37 this past August. Kobe, like Peyton, just seems old and out of sync. Through statstistics, a long, continuing season, and future possibilities for the Broncos and Lakers, Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant need to come to face with reality: Its the end of the road - Its time to retire.
Purely looking at their atrocious statistics, fans can understand and see the need to quit.
Since 2014, which is over 40 games, Kobe Bryant has shot his career low in field goal percentage at 36%. In 2015 alone, Kobe is shooting at 31% from the field - which is absolute last in the NBA (122nd).
Despite his horrendous shooting, Kobe still finds a way to fire up 17 field goal attempts a night. As he throws up the 17, he averages a mediocre 15 points per game. To put his point total each night into perspective - CJ Miles, of the Indiana Pacers averages 15 points, yet shoots 6 times less per game! And it's not as if Kobe makes up for his lack of scoring in sharing the ball - he currently is averaging his career low of 3 assists per game!
And, as you might guess, Kobe's player efficiency rating is dreadful at 10.2 (Compared to 24.2 in his MVP season).
Looking at Peyton Manning, his year in statistics tells a story of abominable play at the quarterbacking position.
With his completion percentage, Peyton has always been known as an accurate quarterback. Yet this year, Peyton has his career low with a 59% completion percentage - which is tied for 25th in the NFL right beside Colin Kaepernick. His TD to INT ratio is awful at 9 TDs compared to a total of 17 INTs on the season. His TD - INT ratio is shocking to say the least: 4 times in his career, Peyton has led the NFL in TDs, but in 2015, he is the sole leader in interceptions (Flacco 2nd with 12).
Of course, like Kobe, the advanced metrics don't help support Peyton's year. While Peyton has a career average of 96.5 as his passer rating, in 2015 he has accumulated a rating of 67.5 - Which is 2nd to last in the NFL (Alongside Ryan Mallet).
Recognizing the terrible statistics of Kobe and Peyton, fans must also come to realize that Peyton (39 years old) is barely halfway through the NFL season, while Kobe (37) is only one month into the regular season. Professional athletes are not made invincible to injuries - Just look to the broken parts of Derrick Rose (Who's only 27).
Kobe, another past NBA star, has had his fair share of injuries to say the least. Most people don't realize that Kobe hasn't played more than a half a season since the 2012-2013 season. In 2013, he played only 6 games, while 2014 he managed 37. The question remains: Can Kobe maintain a level of mediocre play for an entire season? It's time to face the facts - Kobe can't stay healthy for a long period of a season (Not like it matters to the Lakers win column).
Peyton, on the other hand, also has a large injury history, but has even more problems than Kobe as the season progresses. Peyton has a reputation for underperforming late in the season - mainly in the cold and windy weather.
For example, take a look at his 2014 season with the Broncos. In the first 8 games of the 2014 season, Peyton had an average QBR above 80, while throwing for 22 TDs and 3 INTs. However, as soon as November hit, Peyton started playing to his reputation of struggling in the cold. In the last 8 games of the season, Peyton averaged a 55.7 QBR with a 17-12 TD/INT ratio. In the first portion of the 2014 season, Peyton's QBR never once dropped below 75! Then, in the playoffs, Peyton and the Broncos were dominated by his past team - the Indianpolis Colts (Peyton with a QBR of 27.7 - Ouch).
How can we expect Peyton to play better later in 2015, when he couldn't do it healthy (Well - heathier) in 2014?
Finally, the owners and coaches of the Lakers and Broncos need to start encouraging the 2 past superstars to retire.
The Lakers have managed to draft two high level talents since 2014 in Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell. Randle is a monster in the post, as he averaged 15-10 at college in Kentucy. On the other side, Russell is an incredible talent at the point guard position (Averaging 19-6-5 at OSU). Why wouldn't the Lakers organization focus on building around young talent, instead of old, worn down, mediocre play from Kobe?
11 games into the 2015 season, Randle is averaging less than 10 field goal attempts per game (90th in the NBA), while Russell is averaging 10.1 (88th in the NBA). How can you expect Randle and Russell to develop into stars when Nikola Vucevic has attempted more field goals this season?
For Denver and Peyton, they don't have a big name at the quarterback position. But, they do have a potential well-rounded quarterback in Brock Osweiler.
Osweiler is a name not commonly known, but he has the potential to be a good NFL quarterback. At Arizona State, Osweiler threw for 26 TDs with a passer rating of 140.3 in his Junior Season. Not to mention, he put up those stats with a terrible offensive line, and Jamal Miles as his number one receiver (Who has yet to see the NFL playing field since going undrafted in 2012).
Taking a look at NFL quarterback's, most great quarterbacks are big for their position. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are both 6'5 and around 225 pounds, while Rodgers and Wilson have been successful at 6'0 and 200-210 pounds.
Osweiler, on the other hand, stands at 6'7 and 243 pounds! In other words, Osweiler is 2 inches taller and 5 pounds heavier than Ben Roethlisberger (One of the biggest QBs and stronger arms in the NFL).
Looking back on Osweiler's past two games (While Peyton was sitting on the bench), Brock performed pretty well against Kansas City and Chicago. Against Chicago, Osweiler had a fantastic day as he threw for 2 TDs, 0 INTs, and a 127 passer rating. In the week before against Kansas City, he performed adequately as he threw for 1 TD, 1 INT, and a passer rating of 72.6.
When comparing their numbers, Osweiler's 1st game of the season, with a 72 passer rating, would've been Peyton's 2nd highest passer rating on the season. I'm not saying Osweiler is becoming the next Tom Brady or John Elway, but he has a lot more potential to lead the Broncos deep in the post-season than Peyton Manning.
Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant are two historic and legendary athletes. I grew up watching and adoring the two as a kid, and I hate to see their careers coming to an end. But at the same time, its painful to watch once legends turn into mediocre performers. At the end of the day, Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant need to take a look in the mirror - or maybe their statistics - or their highlight reel - or a nice retirement complex - and quit their individual sports.
Please. Just Retire.