The prevailing narrative regarding quarterback Peyton Manning — that he stinks in the cold weather — has reached critical mass this week, with the question being openly asked and the Broncos aggressively firing back.
“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,” Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase said, via Mike Klis of the Denver Post. “I’m going to go in with him every Sunday, and it’s a great feeling to have. When you don’t have a guy like that — and I’ve been in that spot a lot — it [stinks] when you know you walk in there and you don’t have a shot. So I’ll take him any day of the week.”
The Broncos will again play in the cold on Sunday, against a Titans team Denver should beat. And that’s the most overlooked aspect of the notion that Peyton struggles in the cold. The more accurate assessment is that maybe Jim Irsay was right. Maybe Peyton tends to hold the ball a little too tightly in big games.
Typically, more big games happen in the cold. And so, if Peyton struggles in big games, he’s more likely to struggle in cold games.
Today’s game isn’t a big game. If he wins, the narrative may not need to be dumped but adjusted. It’s not the nature of the conditions but the size of the stage that may be the real reason why Peyton struggles in the cold.