Peyton Manning
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After missing 2011 due to neck surgery, Peyton Manning steered the Broncos to a first-place AFC West finish in 2012. The 37-year-old now has Denver at 7-1 while passing for more yards and touchdowns than any other NFL quarterback. "There were people – myself included – who wondered if he'd have any arm strength to come back and be effective," Williams says. "He must have a great degree of mental fortitude to be able to come back to the sport and wonder a) is he going to be able to do it because of his ability and b) if he can take the beatings that quarterbacks do on a weekly basis."