Peyton Manning’s Advice Won’t Make Things Any Easier for Russell Wilson in Brutal AFC West

Perhaps nobody in the world knows what Russell Wilson is going through in his transition from the Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos better than Peyton Manning. In fact, Manning knows exactly what it feels like to be a long-time superstar for one franchise only to end up chasing a Super Bowl with the Broncos.

It makes sense then that Manning, who reached two Super Bowls with the Broncos, winning one, is giving some kind of guidance to Wilson.

Ultimatly, how much will that advice matter in the rough and tumble AFC West? Unfortunately, for Wilson and the Broncos, it probably won’t help much.

Peyton Manning is helping Russell Wilson with his transition to the Denver Broncos 

Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos congratulates quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks on their 43-8 win during Super Bowl XLVIII | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Peyton Manning was an absolute legend for the Indianapolis Colts. Indy drafted him No. 1 overall in the 1998 NFL Draft out of Tennessee, and he quickly became arguably the best overall quarterback in the NFL.

He was known for both his ability to pick apart a defense before the snap as well as his pinpoint accuracy. Only Tom Brady was better during Manning’s time in Indianapolis, and the two had some incredible battles against each other, especially in the playoffs.

Manning played 13 seasons in Indianapolis, winning four MVP awards and a Super Bowl. He missed the full 2011 season with an injured neck but rehabbed, recovered, and then signed with Denver in 2012, where he won one more league MVP and another Super Bowl title.

Manning’s move to Denver was clearly a successful one, and now, Wilson is attempting to do the same thing. The Seahawks traded him for a treasure trove of draft picks after 10 seasons and one Super Bowl win in Seattle.

“I’ve talked to Russell a number of times and we’ve had conversations about some of the things that helped me in my transition to a different team that I think can apply to anybody making the jump, especially after being in a place for a long time,” Manning told The Denver Post. “(I’ve had) conversations Coach (Nathaniel) Hackett as well about some of those things., maybe some do’s and don’ts that helped me and can certainly apply and Russell can hit the ground running here in his first year.”

Unfortunately, Manning can’t help Wilson overcome the AFC West

Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos poses with his jersey after speaking to the media at UCHealth Training Center | Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Though Manning’s words of wisdom can certainly help Wilson and new Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett hit the ground running, unfortunately, there’s very little the Hall of Fame quarterback can do to help the Broncos overcome the absolute guantlet that is the AFC West.

To be fair, the division has been a nightmare for some time now, with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs setting up shop at the top of the rankings and becoming a mainstay in the AFC Championship game.

Mahomes and the Chiefs aren’t going anywhere, and they’re built to go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the league, including Denver. 

Even the Chiefs are going to have a hard time maintaining their grip on the division with what the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders have done this offseason.

The Chargers already had a talented roster and one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Justin Herbert. They went out and bolstered their defense in an effort to respond to the offensive influx the division has seen this offseason. Khalil Mack is now a Charger, and he’ll be a powerful force across the defensive line from Joey Bosa. The Chargers also signed defensive back J.C. Jackson, who notched 25 interceptions in the past four seasons for the New England Patriots.

Of course, there’s also the Raiders, who traded for superstar wide receiver Davante Adams. They’re adding Adams to an offense that already features one of the best tight ends in the league in Darren Waller and star wideout Hunter Renfrow, who notched 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

The AFC West is stacked. So much so that there’s not even a guarantee that Denver will make the playoffs this season, let alone the Super Bowl.

Who knows how it will really shake out? But in a division that features Mahomes and Herbert, it’s not unrealsitic to predict that Wilson could end up as the third-best quarterback of the bunch. Depnding on the impact Adams makes for Derek Carr in Vegas, Wilson could actually be the “worst”.

The Broncos went out and traded for Wilson in order to try to win another Super Bowl. They’ll have to first focus on winning games in the division, though, and that will be easier said than done, even with Manning in the ear of their new quarterback. 

Stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference. Contract information via Spotrac

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