Manning Exorcises Frosty Demons
After a Broncos loss in New England last month, some critics decided to revisit the 'Peyton Manning cannot play in cold weather' meme.
After all, this setback dropped his personal record in games played under freezing temperatures to a lousy 3-7.
Manning should obviously be flogged mercilessly for such incompetence.
With all of the mediocrity presently on display at the quarterback position in the NFL, it's truly hard to fathom how this subject can be discussed in a serious vein. It's particularly absurd when you consider the statistically historic season Peyton is currently enjoying.
Manning has passed for 4522 yards through 13 games, along with a sick 45:9 touchdown-to-pick ratio. He has lost six fumbles on the year, but who among us is infallible?
And what did Peyton do this past Sunday in Denver against Tennessee? Well, with the temperature at a debilitating 18 degrees, he went 39-59 for 397 yards and four scores, helping Denver drop a nasty 51-spot on the Titans.
Peyton was even a little feisty afterwards when asked if this performance would silence the silly mortals who would presume to question his prowess in the elements.
''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 well.''
Peyton angry! Peyton smash!
I suppose these remarks would qualify as emotional for the typically mild-mannered quarterback. But he certainly has a point. This criticism is more than a little ridiculous.
It has been correctly pointed out by many that blame should not be assigned entirely to Manning for many of these cold weather defeats, including the one in New England earlier this season and the brutal home playoff loss to Baltimore last year. While Peyton certainly made his share of mistakes in these games, there was plenty of blame to go around.
Alas, this school of thought will only continue through the regular season and into the playoffs, as there will be more cold weather games to follow in Denver.
Manning will have ample opportunity to further silence his critics while keeping old man winter off balance with an endless series of bewildering audibles.
Mind over matter, indeed.