Peyton Manning, the outsider

September, 19, 2012
9/19/12
10:00
AM ET
While he continues to knock off the rust from missing all of last season, Peyton Manning should do this: Stay to the outside.

Manning is excelling outside of the painted numbers in the first two games of the season, but he is struggling in the middle of the field.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Manning has completed 82.9 percent of his passes outside the painted numbers. It is the best in the NFL. The average is 48.8 percent. However, inside the numbers, Manning is completing a league-worst 50 percent of his attempts. The league average is 66.4 percent.

Manning is having great success in the area where most quarterbacks struggle and he is scuffling where most quarterbacks are excelling. What should Manning do? Keep working the middle of the field. As he gets more comfortable, his success in the middle of the field will come.

However, Manning will be challenged Sunday against Houston. The Texans are allowing a league-low 39.3 percent of passes to be completed outside the numbers this season. So, Manning is going to have to try to get something going in the middle of the field.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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