2015 Broncos-Peyton's Retirement Party Sunday 1/24/16 3PM ET

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SemperFidelisSox

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The Steelers have somehow become the '85 Bears on this site.

This team lost to Baltimore two weeks ago and nearly missed the playoffs completely. Expecting that defense to go on the road for two straight weeks and beat Cincinnati and then Denver is asking a lot.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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Denver gets Pitt when the Steelers beat Cincy.
Why is this considered a sure thing? The pedestal that Pitt sits on in this forum is reaching out Everest heights. Pitts defense stinks and McCarron has looked capable and is going to be playing at home. The Pitt offense can certainly be scary but do we have an update on Deangelo Williams? If he doesn't play then Pitt gets a lot more predictable. The Cincy defense aren't world beaters but they aren't exactly slouches either.

I'll give you that Cincy winning a playoff game seems improbable because Bengals. But on paper it wouldn't be that surprising, especially if Pitt has litt,e threat of a running game.
 

dcmissle

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I don't get Pitts fear either. And I especially don't get it from a Pats' fans' perspective.
 

DanoooME

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I don't get Pitts fear either. And I especially don't get it from a Pats' fans' perspective.
Yeah, all the Pats have to do is stop Pittsburgh 3 times on offense, because there's just about zero chance the Pittsburgh D is going to stop the NE offense 3 times.
 

Rudy's Curve

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The Cincy defense aren't world beaters but they aren't exactly slouches either.
The Bengals lead the league in scoring defense and allowed 15.7 PPG the last nine games which is coincidentally when Vontaze Burfict returned. Adam Jones was also out in the games they allowed 34 and 33. This is a damn good unit at full strength which they project to be and although the Steelers dropped 33 on them a month ago, two of their three TDs were a pick-six and a drive that started inside the 10 and it's not like Ben has a history of lighting them up. I expect the Bengals will do enough defensively to win - it's going to come down to McCarron making enough plays.
 

BigSoxFan

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Which is even more reason why losing the 1 seed sucks for the Pats because if Cincy beats Pitt, then you're going to likely have to beat the toughest opponent in the Div Round AND go to Mile High, which we all know is no fun. I'll be rooting for Pittsburgh because I want the Texans/Chiefs winner. Cincy has far more playmakers than either of those teams.
 

j-man

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pats fans need to root for Ciny and KC KC knows denver very well and can beat den even in den i wouild say root for pitt but if they get hometown refs they couild luck their way to SF new england shouild had won that game today mcd played too safe
 

soxhop411

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Which is even more reason why losing the 1 seed sucks for the Pats because if Cincy beats Pitt, then you're going to likely have to beat the toughest opponent in the Div Round AND go to Mile High, which we all know is no fun. I'll be rooting for Pittsburgh because I want the Texans/Chiefs winner. Cincy has far more playmakers than either of those teams.
Nothing is guaranteed, DEN may get defeated in the DIV round
 

Ed Hillel

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Outside of Houston, all the teams are scary in their own way. There's no use in getting too worked out about all the other scenarios.
 

Sox and Rocks

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This broncos team is challenging everything I thought I knew about football: for the last decade at least, all rule changes have favored the offense and this is a QB driven league. Yet denver, with two average, at best, QBs and a below average oline are the #1 seed.

Incredible
 

Silverdude2167

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This broncos team is challenging everything I thought I knew about football: for the last decade at least, all rule changes have favored the offense and this is a QB driven league. Yet denver, with two average, at best, QBs and a below average oline are the #1 seed.

Incredible
This Denver team could easily be 9-7 if a few less things went their way. I would pick every AFC team in the playoffs over them(assuming healthy Dalton) except Houston.
 

j-man

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Don't worry about the Raiders, they will be fine, they have a QB, several young pieces, Khalil Mack, 9 draft picks and $90M in cap room.

Your $46M number comes from cutting Manning and Clady, but keeping Ware, right? I think they will wind up cutting all three. I am stunned you would want Wolfe over Jackson, who appears to me to be a better player and isn't in the SA program like Wolfe. Also, I am surprised that you would upgrade the interior line, rather than the tackles. Sambrailo will be back next year, but Ryan Harris is also a FA, and you have cut Clady already. I think they are going to have to re-visit the Joe Thomas trade or chase one of the FA options. If they do upgrade the tackles like they need to, they are going to wind up cutting Ware to make the cap work. I think Shane Ray was drafted just to give them that flexibility, so Elway at least has a plan there.
no its cutting manning clady and ware vasquzez too jackson will cost 10 mil or more a year with wolfe we can re-sigh d brouton jr as well R harris will be cheap and come back for the vet min i couild see denver cutting clady and if clady gets a bunch of just 1 year deals for like only 3 mil i couild see denver a 2y 8 mil deal for clady denver needs to draft almost all on off in 16
 

j-man

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This broncos team is challenging everything I thought I knew about football: for the last decade at least, all rule changes have favored the offense and this is a QB driven league. Yet denver, with two average, at best, QBs and a below average oline are the #1 seed.

Incredible
sometimes u have to get lucky to win it all basiclly at home denver can beat any AFC team and other than ne and maybe KC denver is just better than the rest
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Hate to say it J-Man but I'm very much looking forward to Peyton adding another 1 and done to his stellar playoff resume. They're a better team with Brock and I hope they don't realize that before the playoffs start.
 

Sox and Rocks

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Ironically, I think they may be a more consistent team with Brock, but manning offers both a higher ceiling and a lower floor.

For a young QB, Brock protects the football and allows kubiak to run the offense the way he'd like, but he doesn't have big play ability. While manning may throw multiple picks and throws an ugly deep ball, he still connects at a greater rate than osweiler.

With manning, denver can get blown out by any other team but also can beat any other team.
 
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Sox and Rocks

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Ironically, I think they may be a more consistent team with Brock, but manning offers both a higher ceiling and a lower floor.

For a young QB, Brock protects the football and allows kubiak to run the offense the way he'd like, but he doesn't have big play ability. While manning may throw multiple picks and throws an ugly deep ball, he still connects at a greater rate than osweiler.

With manning, denver can get blown out by any other team but also can beat any other team.
Fixed
 

86spike

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Ironically, I think they may be a more consistent team with Brock, but manning offers both a higher ceiling and a lower floor.

For a young QB, Brock protects the football and allows kubiak to run the offense the way he'd like, but he doesn't have big play ability. While manning may throw multiple picks and throws an ugly deep ball, he still connects at a greater rate than osweiler.

With manning, denver can get blown out by any other team but also can beat any other team.
not true

Peyton Manning 198 of 331 passes completed; 59.8%
Brock Osweiler 170 of 275 passes completed; 61.8%

The thing that Manning brings which Brock does not (and I think this is what Kubiak was thinking yesterday) is a much better ability to read defenses, diagnose pressures and adjust.

That's not a knock on Osweiler. He's simply too inexperienced to be able to adjust to defenses the way Manning does. I don't think Kubiak switched to Peyton because of the turnovers. I think he switched because he saw time ticking and knew that he only had 3 or 4 possible possessions left to score a few times and win. Manning represented a better option to react and adjust to the defense, which is what the offense needed. They also (and this has not gotten much press) benched their abysmally bad starting RT (Michael Schofield) and that seemed to help both the pass protection and the run blocking.

Going forward into the playoffs, I have to expect that Manning will be the starter, but I would also imagine Brock is going to get time with the 1s in practice since if Peyton starts throwing picks again or gets hurt, Brock will be right back in. Maybe Kubiak will even be smart enough (jury is out on that) to play coy on the subject and make the opposition prepare for both QBs.

I'm partly terrified of Manning's illustrious one-and-done proclivities and then partly excited to see if he can just stay within himself, protect the ball and let the defense do it's thing. Manning has never had a D like this and earlier this year he was really bad at taking advantage of that by just protecting the ball. Can he fulfill that role now, win two more games and go back to the SB (to get reamed by AZ or CAR? LOL) again? I'm not sure what I expect.

I will say this... after another dips and dives on the roller coaster, once again I find myself with the same opinion of the 2015 Broncos: they're able to win the division but will be a long shot to go very deep in the playoffs. Winning the #1 seed is a potentially big boost, though. I will say that.

Crazy couple of weeks.
 

Sox and Rocks

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not true

Peyton Manning 198 of 331 passes completed; 59.8%
Brock Osweiler 170 of 275 passes completed; 61.8%

The thing that Manning brings which Brock does not (and I think this is what Kubiak was thinking yesterday) is a much better ability to read defenses, diagnose pressures and adjust.

That's not a knock on Osweiler. He's simply too inexperienced to be able to adjust to defenses the way Manning does. I don't think Kubiak switched to Peyton because of the turnovers. I think he switched because he saw time ticking and knew that he only had 3 or 4 possible possessions left to score a few times and win. Manning represented a better option to react and adjust to the defense, which is what the offense needed.
I was referring to their abilities to complete longer passes, not overall completions. Manning throws his infamous ducks, but Osweiler has a very inaccurate deep ball that comes out sideways.

As for manning playing to the strength of his defense, I agree that he wasn't good at this earlier in the season, and clearly the defense is quite good. Still, though, I think it will take more than this in the playoffs. As good as the defense is, Pittsburgh (likely divisional opponent) moved the ball at will, especially in the second half, and New England (likely championship opponent) moved the ball well, too, even without their best receivers. I don't expect Denver's defense to win games on their own.
 

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Spike's read on this team's potential is perfect, and I think limited info can be gleaned from week 17, as the San Diego defense has been nails in December, making life hard for everyone.


The Broncos need to root hard for Cincy and Houston this weekend. There is a huge difference between hosting Denver and having to battle either KC or Pittsburg. I don't think they can score with the Steelers, who have tore up that defense once, and I think KC is a really bad match up for the Broncos. I might be wrong, but the worst 7 quarters the Broncos played all year were 1-3 in KC and the whole Chiefs game in Denver. Those were both Manning games, so perhaps they would do better with Brock in the game.

For the Broncos fans, if it is Manning, do you think they go back to the weird Pistol / Hybrid offense they were running when Manning was starting, or do they run the Kubiak offense with Manning mostly under center that they ran in the second half yesterday?
 

Rudy's Curve

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There's also a huge difference playing the Steelers in Pittsburgh as opposed to Denver, especially since the Broncos were banged up in the secondary when they played. As long as Peyton doesn't give it away (a distinct possibility), they should win that game.
 

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Well that is kind of the key, isn't it? Even with both corners healthy and rested, I think it takes 28 points to beat the Steelers. How many picks is Manning worth in a game where he has to lead 4 touchdown drives?
 

Rudy's Curve

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Well that is kind of the key, isn't it? Even with both corners healthy and rested, I think it takes 28 points to beat the Steelers. How many picks is Manning worth in a game where he has to lead 4 touchdown drives?
I'll bang the under on Pittsburgh scoring 27 in Mile High. He won't need to score 28.
 

86spike

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There's also a huge difference playing the Steelers in Pittsburgh as opposed to Denver, especially since the Broncos were banged up in the secondary when they played. As long as Peyton doesn't give it away (a distinct possibility), they should win that game.
The other factor in that Pitt game was Brock's inability to adjust when Pitt's D went into a zone read. The Denver offense vanished in the second half largely due to Brock's inexperience reading that type of defense and/or the limited playbook he had at his disposal due to his youth. I don't think Manning would be quite so deer-in-the-headlights in that situation. Pitt is also potentially missing Deangelo Williams so their running game (which Denver was able to squash last time) could be weaker than they want.

I'm not terrified of playing Pitt. They definitely could beat us again with their high flying pass game, but they also lost to Baltimore 8 days ago, so who are they really?

I think all 3 potential Denver opponents could be trouble or could be beatable.

Pitt is outlined above.

KC beat Denver at Mile High this season and (as GF pointed out) nearly beat us earlier in KC were it not for a lucky fumble bouncing into a TD return. They are hot as can be and have a stout D to go along with an increasingly solid passing game with Alex Smith playing the best ball of his career. On the other side of the coin, their big win streak hasn't exactly been against top opponents. During the 10 game streak they beat: Pitt, Detroit, Denver, SD, Buffalo, Oakland, SD, Baltimore, Cleveland, Oakland. Only 2 winning teams in that stretch and 3 of the last 4 games were won by thin margins. Are they more of a paper tiger than the big streak implies?

Houston only beat two teams with wining records in their 9 victories (Cinci and NYJ) and they are thin at RB and receivers behind Hopkins (Washington, Shorts and Griffin aren't scaring anyone on their own). Their QB situation is shaky and I don't expect Denver's D would have too much trouble with them. That said, the thought of JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney blasting past Denver's shitacular OL and crushing the passer will keep me up at night if they end of being the match-up.

I think KC is probably the team I would least like to see, but bring them on if that's the way the cards are dealt.
 

86spike

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For the Broncos fans, if it is Manning, do you think they go back to the weird Pistol / Hybrid offense they were running when Manning was starting, or do they run the Kubiak offense with Manning mostly under center that they ran in the second half yesterday?
No clue, but I would hope that the offense looks exactly like what Manning was doing yesterday (and that the RBs tear shit up, of course!). That hybrid approach only seemed to work in the GB game and was clunky and uneven otherwise. I really don't know what to expect and Kubiak has already said today that he will have no comments on which QB will start for the next game, so he's going to try to keep the opponents guessing.

Well that is kind of the key, isn't it? Even with both corners healthy and rested, I think it takes 28 points to beat the Steelers. How many picks is Manning worth in a game where he has to lead 4 touchdown drives?
It was the safeties that were out in that Pitt game. If they're all healthy that should help slow down Brown, Bryant and Wheaton a little.
 

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This has to be great for Brock. Hey we don't trust you enough to be the starting QB, but if he is injured you are our guy!

I can't imagine that Manning will make a lasting impact on improving the running game, so is he really a better option to start Brock?
 

Super Nomario

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For ITP, I looked at some of the film and stats on Osweiler's performance to answer why the Broncos went to Manning: http://insidethepylon.com/film-study/film-study-nfl/offense-film-study-nfl/2016/01/05/why-the-broncos-went-back-to-peyton-manning/

Manning has had issues executing Kubiak’s offense from under center, clearly preferring to line up in the shotgun or pistol. Osweiler didn’t appear to be any more comfortable under center, however, as the Broncos still executed most of their passing concepts from the shotgun. Against the Bengals, Osweiler had 33 dropbacks from shotgun or pistol formations and just 10 from under center, while 255 of his 299 passing yards came from the ‘gun.

...

One would expect that more drives would have ended in scores under Osweiler, if only because fewer are being derailed by turnovers, but in fact a smaller percentage of Denver’s drives in Weeks 11 to 16 ended in points than they had before, with yards (29.4 before vs. 29.8 since) and points (1.64 before vs. 1.59 since) per drive almost the same. Manning’s errant deliveries were replaced not by more scores but by more missed field goals, fumbles, and turnovers on downs.
 

Ed Hillel

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Broncos waiting on Peyton's foot

http://espn.go.com/blog/denver-broncos/post/_/id/17586/broncos-want-to-see-how-peyton-mannings-foot-responds-before-naming-starter

Wonder if they are setting up a similar scenario to week 17 where they start Brock but have Peyton at the ready to relieve
Never has the injury facade been more transparent than now. He dressed, played nearly a full half, and the Broncos need to evaluate his foot after two more weeks of rest? Cut the JLaw "ok" gif.

They could also be messing with the injury report to deceive opponents, but the NFL did thorough investigations of the Colts and Packers in relation to Luck and Favre that are sure to deter other teams.
 

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Manning to start

Can't see them bringing Brock off the bench for a "spark" if they are behind in the 2nd half but we shall see...
Rankles me that Denver's road to the SB doesn't involve any game time starts later than 2:40pm local time, thereby allowing Peyton to potentially avoid one of his (many) postseason nemeses— cold weather. Granted, he has enough one-and-dones even in temperate weather, but it still has to be taken as a fortunate omen for him that they miss the nighttime slots in both the Divisional and Championship weeks.
 

86spike

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I have no clue why Kubiak is announcing this now. Why on earth wouldn't you stay neurtral on it and at least make your opponent consider two different defensive approaches?

I'm not really loving the Kubiak era so far.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Spike's read on this team's potential is perfect, and I think limited info can be gleaned from week 17, as the San Diego defense has been nails in December, making life hard for everyone.
Meh.

They've played the Bronco's twice, a pretty mediocre Chiefs offense (I don't buy their DVOA for a second), a Dolphins team that is in shambles, and a Raiders team that hasn't scored more than 21 points in regulation in the last 8 weeks. I'm not ready to gauge the potential of Denver's offense against that defense.
 

dbn

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Rankles me that Denver's road to the SB doesn't involve any game time starts later than 2:40pm local time, thereby allowing Peyton to potentially avoid one of his (many) postseason nemeses— cold weather. Granted, he has enough one-and-dones even in temperate weather, but it still has to be taken as a fortunate omen for him that they miss the nighttime slots in both the Divisional and Championship weeks.
That PManning plays poorly in the cold is a well established theme, but is it true? I remember trying to hunt down temperature data some years ago and it seemed pretty inconclusive. Anyhow, just wondering if anyone has any link or data to support the assertion.
 

NortheasternPJ

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That PManning plays poorly in the cold is a well established theme, but is it true? I remember trying to hunt down temperature data some years ago and it seemed pretty inconclusive. Anyhow, just wondering if anyone has any link or data to support the assertion.
Didn't a thread last year go into this and show it wasn't actually correct? On my phone so tough to search.
 

86spike

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That PManning plays poorly in the cold is a well established theme, but is it true? I remember trying to hunt down temperature data some years ago and it seemed pretty inconclusive. Anyhow, just wondering if anyone has any link or data to support the assertion.
He played fine in cold weather in 2014 on their SB run. He has played poorly in the cold other times and also played well in others. There's no solid data set.

IMO, Manning loses games most often when he is forced out of his comfort zone. I think he is an incredible creature of habit and works his ass off to be highly prepared to execute a game plan that is carefully devised ahead of time. Even the audibles and changing of plays mid-game are things they prep for ahead of time.

When his opponents are able to knock him off of that game plan and force him to try to do things that are outside of what he likes to do and has been preparing to do... he tends to struggle. He throws picks, he takes sacks, he puts on the Manning Face. I see it as the dark side of a guy who is ultra prepared to execute his gameplan. When the plan goes to shit, he has a hard time executing plan B, C or D. He's not really skilled at big picture adjustments on the fly the way he is skilled at small adjustments mid-game that can be rehearsed and strategized ahead of time. when he can get on a roll and the plan is working, he can be unstoppable. But knock him off balance and you have a chance to win.

In the playoffs you are much more likely to see teams that are prepared to knock Peyton out of that comfort zone and make him try to change strategies. Seattle's ass kicking in SB 48 came when they disrupted Peyton's carefully planned attack and left him unable to adjust. It's a great example of this phenomenon.
 

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As is the 2003-2004 Patriots' ability of disrupting his receivers' routes, which left him flailing because he had no idea what to do in response.

If I had to describe the difference between Brady and Manning's passing philosophy in a nutshell, it would be that Manning says: "Be there at this time, and I will get you the ball" while Brady's is "Get open, and I will get you the ball." Even when he throws ducks, Manning's timing and accuracy is so precise that he can lob a pass into his receivers' arms if they are where they are supposed to be, even if they generally appear covered. Both Seattle and New England were able to disrupt the receivers' route running so that Manning couldn't connect regularly. It should have surprised nobody that the physical defense of Seattle would manage Manning.

Brady, on the other hand, is better at evaluating a different option if a team manages to cover his top 2-3 receiving threats, so you have to disrupt him at the LOS.
 

86spike

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As is the 2003-2004 Patriots' ability of disrupting his receivers' routes, which left him flailing because he had no idea what to do in response.

If I had to describe the difference between Brady and Manning's passing philosophy in a nutshell, it would be that Manning says: "Be there at this time, and I will get you the ball" while Brady's is "Get open, and I will get you the ball." Even when he throws ducks, Manning's timing and accuracy is so precise that he can lob a pass into his receivers' arms if they are where they are supposed to be, even if they generally appear covered. Both Seattle and New England were able to disrupt the receivers' route running so that Manning couldn't connect regularly. It should have surprised nobody that the physical defense of Seattle would manage Manning.

Brady, on the other hand, is better at evaluating a different option if a team manages to cover his top 2-3 receiving threats, so you have to disrupt him at the LOS.
I would also add the enormously impactful fact that Manning has played his entire career with coaches that could not carry BB's jock when it comes to strategy and flexibility.
 

drleather2001

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I would also add the enormously impactful fact that Manning has played his entire career with coaches that could not carry BB's jock when it comes to strategy and flexibility.
It's a bit of chicken-and-egg though. Manning can't simultaneously get credit for being a "Field Marshal" who religiously studies his photographs and calls audibles every 3 plays and then also get off lightly when his plans fail.

So I'm not sure Manning would be able to co-exist with a coach that didn't institute a game plan that played to his strengths.

EDIT: he's basically the Wilt Chamberlain of football, minus (I presume and, well, kind of hope) the bedroom exploits.
 

m0ckduck

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He played fine in cold weather in 2014 on their SB run. He has played poorly in the cold other times and also played well in others. There's no solid data set.
I thought it was generally accepted that he has trouble gripping the ball in cold weather since his neck surgeries. My post about him playing poorly in the cold was meant in reference to the last few seasons since his neck surgery— I'm aware that the statement doesn't necessarily hold up over the course of his career.

There was only one cold weather game in 2014, though right? The AFCCG was unusually warm. And his performance in the SB can't be taken as a positive. I also recall him fading down the stretch of the 2013 Ravens Divisional Round game as the temperature dropped. In any case, I agree with your broader point that he's the GOAT when allowed to stick with Plan A but struggles to win when forced to execute plans B and C, and that this is the larger culprit in his playoff failures.
 

86spike

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It's a bit of chicken-and-egg though. Manning can't simultaneously get credit for being a "Field Marshal" who religiously studies his photographs and calls audibles every 3 plays and then also get off lightly when his plans fail.

So I'm not sure Manning would be able to co-exist with a coach that didn't institute a game plan that played to his strengths.

EDIT: he's basically the Wilt Chamberlain of football, minus (I presume and, well, kind of hope) the bedroom exploits.
This season perhaps being a fine example of that.
 
I have no clue why Kubiak is announcing this now. Why on earth wouldn't you stay neurtral on it and at least make your opponent consider two different defensive approaches?

I'm not really loving the Kubiak era so far.
This has to be in part due to placating Peyton Manning.

Though possibly losing a Manning power play behind the scenes just builds a stronger case for "not really loving the Kubiak era so far."
 

coremiller

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Since Manning got to Denver (so post-neck surgery), by my count he's only played 6 games where the game-time temperature was less than 40 degrees. Four of them were at home (one was the home playoff game against Baltimore), and the two road games were both in New England. In those six games, he averaged 28.5/43.2, for 306 yards, 3TDS/.8 INTs, and 1.2 sacks for 8.7 yards. That works out to a 7.21 ANY/A, which is still pretty good (well above league average) but well below Manning's 8.17 ANY/A for 2012-2014.

Take that with a grain of salt: it's a small sample, and it's not adjusted for opponent quality. Also 2015 Peyton Manning is not 2012-2014 Peyton Manning. But I don't see anything to suggest that cold weather in particular hampers him. He had some tough games in New England, but New England is a really good team. He also had cold-weather games like this:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201411230den.htm
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201312080den.htm
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201212300den.htm
 
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