Peyton Manning leads the Denver Broncos into an AFC divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens Saturday afternoon in the chilly confines of Sports Authority Field at Mile High stadium.
Now, who would have thought that was possible about this time last year? Manning was sidelined all last season following multiple neck surgeries and speculation had been mounting for months that the Indianapolis Colts would part ways with the four-time MVP of the NFL.
So when the time came, Manning graciously accepted the Colts’ decision to cut ties with him as the organization looked to draft Stanford wunderkind Andrew Luck with the first overall pick. Manning then sought employment elsewhere and chose Denver.
The odds suggest Manning will lead the Broncos to a victory over Baltimore, as he has done the last nine times he’s quarterbacked a team against the Ravens, including earlier this season. Denver was installed a 2-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl before the playoffs began.
There is one factor at play in the Ravens’ favor: Manning has never won a playoff game when the temperature was below 40 degrees. He’s 0-3 in those frigid outings. Then again, they were all road games since Indianapolis plays in a dome.
The temperature is expected to be less than 20 degrees Saturday when the game begins at 1:30 p.m. PST. So either Manning will win his 10th in a row against the Ravens or he will be 0-4 in frigid playoff conditions. One streak will continue as the other ends.