A win for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Sunday will mean a ticket to the Super Bowl field. In addition, CBS Sports reports that it will also mean a $2 million bonus for Manning.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) January 19, 2016
Making it to the Super Bowl at this stage of his career is more than enough incentive for Peyton Manning to win the AFC Championship Game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. However, knowing that he could also earn a seven-figure bonus for a single game might just give Peyton the added boost that he needs to bring Denver a victory.
There is apparently some fine print attached to that $2 million bonus, though. According to the report, Manning will have to take the lead in 70 percent of the offensive plays throughout the highly-anticipated match-up.
Quite a few people expect the 39-year-old Broncos quarterback to finally hang up his cleats and retire from the NFL when his postseason journey ends this year. If that is the case, then the overall value of a victory against the Patriots on Sunday speaks for itself.
A loss to the Patriots on Sunday will abruptly end Manning's postseason and possibly his career in the NFL (if he decides to retire). However, a win on Sunday will send Peyton Manning and the Broncos to Levi's Stadium on February 7 for the Big Game.
Based on his performance towards the start of the current season, Peyton definitely did not appear to be Super Bowl-bound at all. He successfully led the Denver Broncos to a 7-2 start in the first nine games of the season. However, along the way, Peyton only threw nine touchdowns to 17 interceptions.
The older brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was also placed on the sideline for nine games after he injured his foot.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Manning has not thrown a single touchdown pass since he returned to the field after his foot injury. On the other hand, he did manage to end his disastrous streak of throwing interceptions.
Peyton has definitely excited his biggest fans and silenced his most skeptical critics with his postseason performance.
When the Denver Broncos faced the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the intense battle could have easily shifted in favor of either team. However, the Broncos rose to the occasion and sealed the deal at the end of the game with a 23-16 victory, sending the Steelers home for the rest of the season.
Peyton Manning's quick thinking on the field played a vital role in the team's victory, especially during one particular play where he essentially sacked himself.
Moments before a possible sack, Peyton dropped himself to the ground. At first glance, it seemed like the play was over. However, the defender did not touch him, so that allowed Peyton to hop back up from his impressive self-sack fake and complete a 34-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders.
"I don't really want to analyze this play too much. I'd kind of like it to go away, if it could. I was stepping up. When you fake that way and kind of get your head around, I felt that guy closing, so I stepped up and kind of leaned forward. My momentum kind of just took me down, I guess. I didn't think that he had touched me. I told Emmanuel just to kind of be alert in case I fall down, get back up to be uncovered."
Chances are that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are fully prepared to prevent any self-sack moves from happening Sunday. Only time will tell, though, if Peyton Manning doesn't have any other tricks up his sleeves that will lead to the Broncos' victory on Sunday and a $2 million bonus payday for its quarterback.
[Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images]