Broncos steamed over Manning’s cold critics

The Denver Broncos are steamed over suggestions by Peyton

Manning’s critics that the four-time MVP crumbles in the cold.

Manning, who spent his first 14 seasons playing his home games

inside a dome in Indianapolis, has a 3-7 career record, including

playoffs, in games in which the temperature at kickoff was 32

degrees or below.

In all other games, he’s 170-76.

With the Broncos, Manning has lost two notable cold-weather

games, at home in double-overtime against Baltimore in the playoffs

and in overtime at Foxborough, Mass., two weeks ago. He also beat

Kansas City in cold weather at home last season.

The forecast for Sunday’s game at Sports Authority Field against

Tennessee calls for temperatures in the mid-teens with snow and

light wind, an improvement over the near-zero temperatures they

practiced in this week.

Manning said this week he didn’t feel he was a different player

in the cold weather. Asked to elaborate, Manning added only,

”That’s not how I feel, so … did I miss the question?”

The Broncos were in position to win both their playoff game

against the Ravens in January and their game at New England last

month, which came down to Rahim Moore’s botched coverage on a Hail

Mary pass and a blunder by punt returner Wes Welker,


Against Baltimore, Manning threw for almost 300 yards and three

touchdowns and against the Patriots, he led a late TD drive to send

it into overtime.

”If we won those games, we wouldn’t be talking about weather

right now,” coach John Fox said.

Titans coach Mike Munchak talked about the weather all week,

saying he hoped for snow, wind, sleet, anything to slow down

Denver, which is averaging 38.6 points a game.

The one who gave the most impassioned defense of Manning this

week was the man who will be calling the plays Sunday when the

Broncos (10-2) take on the Titans (5-7).

”I’ve only been around him two years but the thing that

probably (ticks) me off more than anything is the fact that I don’t

want anybody else as my quarterback,” offensive coordinator Adam

Gase said. ”I’m going to go in with him every Sunday and it’s a

great feeling to have. When you have him back there, you know your

chances of winning are pretty good. And when you don’t have a guy

like that? I’ve been in that spot a lot, and it (stinks), when you

know you walk in there and you don’t have a shot. I’ll take him any

day of the week.”

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