Steam from Manning’s nostrils not just from cold
Even after coming in from the cold, Peyton Manning was hot.
Following one of the best cold-weather performances by a
quarterback in the past decade, Manning issued an icy retort for
all his critics who say he crumbles in the cold.
He had a salty response to his critics during a postgame
interview with Broncos’ flagship radio station KOA in Denver
following the Broncos’ 51-28 dismantling of the Tennessee Titans on
This after lecturing his receivers when they dropped passes and
getting into some heated discussions with offensive coordinator
Adam Gase on the bench after the Broncos had trouble finishing off
Manning said it was just the fire the burns in both of their
bellies and ”we were both frustrated when we’re down there close
and have to settle for a field goal.”
They wanted touchdowns to quiet the critics who had been eager
to see how Manning would handle temperatures in the teens.
After all, going into Sunday’s game he had a 3-7 record in
freezing temps, including last year’s home loss to Baltimore in the
playoffs and last month’s loss at New England – defeats that coach
John Fox pointed out last week shouldn’t be pinned on Manning given
the blunders committed by others.
”I think the better he continues to play in the cold, I think
the less chatter there will be about that,” Fox said Monday. ”I
was asked about that before and after. I’m just really glad he’s on
our side. I don’t care about the weather.”
Asked if he likes it when his quarterback – who’s 174-83 in his
career regardless of whether the mercury rises or falls – gets
fired up, Fox said, ”I like him pretty much either way.”
Despite what he had to say on the radio, Manning was more
diplomatic on the podium in his postgame news conference when asked
if he had tried to silence critics of his cold-weather play Sunday
when the Broncos became the first team since the 1970 merger to top
50 points three times in a season.
”Yeah, I wasn’t trying to answer it, because I didn’t give it
validation in the first place,” Manning said. ”We had a good plan
and I thought we threw the ball well and guys caught the ball
If Manning needs to get his hackles up over something this week,
it’s that the Broncos have a short turnaround. He wasn’t happy
three months ago when the Broncos kicked off the season on a
Thursday night, then didn’t play again for 10 days, followed by a
Monday night game before finally getting into a regular
Now, they have to play a division game against San Diego
mid-week. When someone asked him how hard it is to condense his
preparation into such a short time frame, Manning retorted, ”I’ve
done it, I’ve played enough Thursday night games where I know the
habit, if that makes sense.”
It’s supposed to be a bit warmer Thursday night, at least.
The temperature at kickoff Sunday was 18 degrees, which many
Broncos said felt downright balmy after practicing in zero degrees
during the week, and Manning certainly wasn’t bothered one bit.
On a clear day with hardly any wind, he threw for 397 yards and
four TDs in the icy conditions. His 39 completions were the most in
franchise history, and just one shy of his career best set at
Houston in 2010.
He also became the first player since Kerry Collins in 2004 at
Denver to throw at least four TD passes with the temperature below
20 degrees and the first QB since Matt Schaub at Green Bay in 2008
to throw for at least 390 yards in sub-20 degree weather.
Any more questions about the cold?
Well, Manning actually had one for media relations manager Erich
Schubert as the still-thawing QB stood in the locker room, a white
towel around his waist and shivering teammates tiptoeing past him,
dripping wet, teeth chattering.
”Hey, didn’t we win the game?” Manning asked. ”There’s cold
water in the shower.”
Notes: Fox said DT Derek Wolfe (illness) will begin working his
way back this week after missing the past two games. … S Rahim
Moore, who underwent surgery on his lower left leg to fix a blood
flow problem last month, will begin lifting weights this week in
hopes he can return during the playoffs.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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