As a result of winning 11 straight games to end the 2012 NFL regular season, the Denver Broncos were able to win the AFC West division title, clinch home-field advantage through the playoffs and a first-round bye.
The Peyton Manning experiment has been a resounding success for John Elway and company in the Mile High City with the Broncos favored to go the distance and win the Super Bowl.
Although Denver is arguably the team to beat in the AFC heading into the postseason, one major concern has been expressed by fans and NFL analysts surrounding Manning’s ability to play in cold weather. Home-field advantage is a great assest for a team like the Broncos playing at a high altitude with a great fan base, but Manning’s history in cold weather isn’t all that promising moving forward.
With a record of 0-3 in the playoffs when the temperature is below 30 degrees, Manning is obviously not the same player in those conditions. In an effort to counter the cold weather in Denver recently, Manning has been wearing a glove on his right hand for the first time in his career.
The Broncos destroyed the Cleveland Browns (34-12) and Kansas City Chiefs (38-3) in the last two games of the regular season with the glove not playing a role in terms of hindering Manning’s play and ability to throw the football. Manning talked about the glove via Andrew Mason of Mile High Sports:
“You know, for wearing it for the first time in my entire football career, I guess you could say it’s been okay the past two weeks,” Manning said.
Denver awaits the winner of the AFC Wild Card battle between Ray Lewis’ Baltimore Ravens and Andrew Luck’s Indianapolis Colts. Regardless of the winner of that game, both teams will have storylines coming into a matchup with the Broncos with Manning either facing his former team for the first time or Lewis’ playing to keep his Super Bowl aspirations alive before he retires at season’s end.