Quick Reads: The pick-six problem

With four INTs returned for TDs the past two weeks, is Peyton Manning slipping?

Updated: December 6, 2010, 1:47 PM ET
By Bill Barnwell | Football Outsiders
Peyton ManningAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesPeyton Manning's recent struggles are a concern, but his pick-sixes are likely a fluke.

On Sunday, Peyton Manning threw four interceptions for the second week in a row. Perhaps more disturbingly, for the second week in a row, Manning threw two interceptions that were returned by the opposing team for touchdowns, giving him four pick-sixes in the course of seven days. You only have to think back to the Super Bowl to give him a fifth crucial pick-six -- his throw to Tracy Porter that just about sealed the game for the Saints.

Just 10.1 percent of interceptions are returned for touchdowns, so in light of all this questions have to be asked. Is Manning slipping? Is he prone to pick-sixes in a way other quarterbacks are not, or is that even something quarterbacks can control? And has there been a quarterback in recent memory who has seen as many of his interceptions taken to the house as Manning has?

To see if multiple pick-sixes over the past two weeks mean Peyton Manning is losing his edge at QB, plus Football Outsiders' list of the best, worst and most surprising performances of Week 13, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) is a staff writer for Grantland.