From the FanPosts -Joel
My spring break started just in time. Now that I don't have to worry about classes, I have time to write all the Peyton Manning FanPosts that I've been thinking about for the past week. And if you thought my last one was too mathy and dry for you, don't worry, this one is actually fun and exciting. There are a certain number of criteria Manning should consider before deciding which team to go to, and for each one I will rank the contending teams on how hey do in each one.
Before I start, keep in mind that I'm only considering Denver, Arizona, Miami, and KC. They are the only teams who are competing for him as far as I know. I will also be putting these criteria in roughly the order of importance as I see it. And I will be doing the rankings based on what Manning should do, not what I think he will do.
With that out of the way, let's get to the rankings.
Talent Around the QB:
1. Kansas City
This is the single most important criteria Manning should consider. If his ultimate goal is to give himself the best chance of winning the Super Bowl, he needs to be on the best team he can. Kansas City and Miami are pretty equal, and you could certainly argue that they should be switched. The reason I put KC first is because it's my FanPost and there's nothing you can do to stop me. Just keep in mind that both teams are close enough that it should be considered a tie.
A distant third is Denver. I think that they are also pretty close to Arizona, but I have to give Denver the edge. Denver has the better defense, Arizona has Larry Fitzgerald. And, yes, Arizona did make it to the Super Bowl a couple years ago when they had a good QB, but what people forget to mention is that almost all of their important players from that team are now gone.
1. Kansas City
Yes, division is more important than people are giving it credit for. An easier division makes it much easier to get a higher seed in the playoffs, which in turn makes it easier to win the Super Bowl. And, again, Manning's top priority should be winning another championship.
Again I have a little controversy in my rankings. Since Kansas City and Denver play in the same division, it's hard to argue that one should be ranked over the other. The reason I put KC ahead is because I believe a KC team without freak ACL tears to star players early in the season with Cassel at QB will be closer to the 10 win 2010 team than the 7 win 2011 team. I also believe that 8 wins is the ceiling for a Tebow led team. So the division looks tougher from the Broncos perspective than it does from the Chiefs'.
What is unarguable is that our division is much easier than the NFC West with the 49ers and the AFC East with the Patriots. I put Arizona ahead of Miami because the rest of the AFC East is much stronger than the rest of the NFC West.
2. Kansas City
As far as the cap goes, all four teams should be able to sign Manning. Miami would need to make some room, and Arizona may want to make some room to sign free agents, but they aren't in enough cap trouble to not be able to afford him. Kansas City is in pretty good shape, and would be able to sign some additional free agents even after signing Peyton. Denver has the top spot, however, and would probably be able to sign all of the ex-Colts players if Manning wanted. I don't know how big of an issue that is for Manning, but if he wants a new Colts team, Denver is probably his best bet.
Home Field Advantage (and Weather)
These rankings are largely based off the weather advantage. Dome teams and warm weather teams have a much tougher time playing in cold weather than cold weather teams do. And, remember, these are based on what Manning should do, so in this case weather works against Miami, while most pundits are arguing that it is one of their advantages. I put KC ahead of Denver because we have Arrowhead and they don't, but Denver is closer to KC than Miami is to Denver.
1. Kansas City
The only reason I'm including this is because Manning said it would be a factor. Miami has obviously already hurt themselves with their helicopter, and Tebow would make it a pretty bad problem in Denver. Arizona and KC shouldn't be worried. The only reason I ranked KC above them is because they are a larger market and are close to Vegas and Los Angeles, which could amplify the media coverage. These are pretty lame reasons, and so in this category you should consider Arizona and Kansas City co-number ones.
1. Kansas City
Arizona is near the bottom in pretty much every category, so I don't see them having much of a shot.Miami and Denver are pretty close, and before actually writing this stuff down I probably would have put Miami ahead. Although Miami is clearly superior in the most important category, Denver beats them in everything else, so I have to give the edge to Denver.
Kansas City was in the top two in every one. Even though most of them were close, I don't think anybody would say that, category by category, KC would be very far behind the other team even if they think I'm wrong in my ordering. This makes Kansas City the clear favorite. I'm obviously biased, but if you don't believe my rankings, at least consider my arguments for those rankings. I feel that a third party would rank them very similarly.