When Peyton Manning retired, it was seen as the perfect end to his illustrious career, riding off with a Super Bowl win. However, Magic Johnson tried to convince him to play for another team.
Manning’s last year in the NFL was definitely one that he’d like to forget, minus the Super Bowl win. While the quarterback was 7-2 in the regular season, the Bronco’s exceptional record was definitely carried by their strong defense.
The 2015-16 Denver Broncos had the best defense in the league by a long shot, so much so to the point where they were winning games for the team. Manning was having his worst career under center by far, his age finally showing.
However, when it mattered the most, Manning was able to come in, settle the offense down, and let his defense take over, en-route to a Super Bowl victory.
Jan. 24, 2016 (2015 AFC Championship Game) — Behind their destructive defense, the Denver Broncos beat the New England Patriots, 20–18, to capture their 8th AFC crown!
DEN D: Hit @TomBrady 20x & had many huge stops @VonMiller: 1 INT & 2.5 sacks
PFM: 2 TDs in final home game pic.twitter.com/lPwE5jVJUJ
— Mile High Moments (@MileHighMoments) January 24, 2022
Magic Johnson tried to force Peyton Manning out of retirement
How bad ws Manning’s 2015-16 season? Well, in those nine games he played, he threw nine touchdowns to a league leading 17 interceptions.
His completion percentage was a mere 59.8%, and he was throwing for a career low 224.9 yards per game. There was no flow to his game, and the Broncos even benched him for backup Brock Osweiler. Osweiler seemed to be doing the job initially, but when the playoffs rolled around, the team went back to their trusted leader.
Manning didn’t do anything crazy in the playoffs, but he limited his mistakes, made the right plays, and managed the game well enough so that the defense could do what it had been doing all season long. They mauled the 15-1 Carolina Panthers, shutting down their league best offense completely.
Feb. 7, 2016—The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, 24–10 in Super Bowl 50, to capture their 3rd title! DEN was led by @sonofbum‘s dominant defense, game MVP @VonMiller, @cjandersonb22 & just enough from Peyton Manning in his final game. @johnelway: “This one’s for Pat!” pic.twitter.com/gcctp54QNI
— Mile High Moments (@MileHighMoments) February 7, 2022
After the game, Manning knew his time in the league had come. He announced his retirement shortly after the Super Bowl, and that was it. However, Magic Johnson was trying to get him to come back to lead the new/old Los Angeles Rams. The Rams relocated back to Los Angeles in 2016-17, and Johnson wanted Manning to lead them.
As he admitted on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he was working on Manning backstage, and he apparently even offered him some money to come play for LA. Of course, his efforts were unsuccessful, but it would have been interesting to see Manning suit up for the Rams.