Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • Mon., Oct. 24, 2016 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM MDT GAMEDAY: Texans vs. Broncos
    Texans vs. Broncos
    Monday, October 24 • 6:30PM MDT • ESPN
    Week 7 • NFL Homecoming • Ring of Fame Ceremony • presented by Bud Light

  • Sun., Oct. 30, 2016 2:05 PM - 5:00 PM MDT GAMEDAY: Chargers vs. Broncos
    Chargers vs. Broncos
    Sunday, October 30 • 2:05PM MDT • CBS
    Week 8 • Halloween Extravaganza • presented by Nationwide

  • Tue., Nov. 01, 2016 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM MDT Drive for Life Drive for Life
    Date: Tuesday 11/1, 8 am – 5 pm
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: 19th annual community blood drive in partnership with Bonfils Blood Center. Appointments are not needed, for more information please visit: www.bonfils.org
  • Sun., Nov. 06, 2016 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM MST GAMEDAY: Broncos at Raiders
    Broncos at Raiders
    Sunday, November 6 • 6:30PM MST • NBC
    Week 9

  • Sun., Nov. 13, 2016 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM MST GAMEDAY: Broncos at Saints
    Broncos at Saints
    Sunday, November 13 • 11AM MDT • CBS
    Week 10

  • Tue., Nov. 22, 2016 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM MST Denver Rescue Mission Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution Denver Rescue Mission Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution
    Date: Tuesday 11/22 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: The Denver Rescue Mission will distribute Thanksgiving food boxes and turkeys to families who have pre-registered with them. Broncos Country is encouraged to donate a vehicle to the Denver Rescue Mission: https://www.denverrescuemission.org/vehicle.
  • Sun., Nov. 27, 2016 2:25 PM - 5:30 PM MST GAMEDAY: Chiefs vs. Broncos
    Chiefs vs. Broncos
    Sunday, November 27 • 2:25PM MST • CBS
    Week 12 • Salute to Service • presented by USAA

  • Sun., Dec. 04, 2016 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM MST GAMEDAY: Broncos at Jaguars
    Broncos at Jaguars
    Sunday, December 4 • 11AM MST • CBS
    Week 13

  • Sun., Dec. 11, 2016 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM MST GAMEDAY: Broncos at Titans
    Broncos at Titans
    Sunday, December 11 • 11AM MST • CBS
    Week 14

  • Sun., Dec. 18, 2016 2:25 PM - 5:30 PM MST GAMEDAY: Patriots vs. Broncos
    Patriots vs. Broncos
    Sunday, December 18 • 2:25PM MST • CBS
    Week 15 • Man of the Year • presented by Verizon


Cold Suits Broncos Just Fine

Posted Dec 8, 2013

Independent analyst Andrew Mason takes a look at the Broncos' performance in the frigid temperatures Sunday.

DENVER -- The temperature kept plunging through the teens. The wind chill kept diving towards zero -- and eventually went under.

Certain animals thrive in these conditions. Emperor penguins. Walruses. And, until Sunday, naysayers over the Broncos' cold-weather capabilities. They howled like Arctic wolves.

Add Peyton Manning, Matt Prater and their Broncos teammates to that list after Sunday's 51-28 thrashing of the Tennessee Titans.

You're not supposed to have an effective offense in the cold. At least not with Peyton Manning at the controls. The future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who played the first 14 seasons of his career for a team whose home games were in a dome or under a retractable roof. 

But the same Peyton Manning came to Denver 11 years ago and led the Colts on game-tying and game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime, claiming a 27-24 win on a snow-swept night. He also threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns as the mercury plunged toward single digits in last January's playoff loss.

In the run-up to Sunday, Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase took a question about Manning's cold-weather capability personally. He snapped back with a direct response that found its way onto one newscast after another. And he could hardly be blamed for it; mentally, he's armed to the maximum with facts and data. He knew better. He knew that for a passing game, it wasn't about temperature, but the wind speed.

And he knew that unlike the Nov. 24 loss at New England, when gale-force gusts hit Gillette Stadium, that the conditions Sunday would be placid by comparison. Breezes were light. And Manning was vintage: he beat the Titans with an array of short passes, then burnt them downfield: Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker all caught passes of at least 24 yards apiece, with the yardage coming before the catch.

Manning's tosses to the sideline had the zip they needed. Only one pass had a chance of being intercepted, and he ended with 39 completions -- the second-most of his career and the most in Broncos history. It looked like the Manning of warmer days when the Broncos played the Ravens, Eagles, Cowboys, Chiefs and others. Only the heaters on the bench and parkas on everyone in sight revealed anything different.

Manning didn't want to talk about the cold weather after the game -- "I wasn’t trying to answer (the question), because I didn’t give it validation in the first place," he said. He didn't have to talk about it. His performance provided the answer to anyone who had any lingering questions.

There's something else you're not supposed to do in the cold: hit 64-yard field goals.

The "K" balls used for placekicks, already segregated from the rest of their leather-bound brethren so they can't be doctored, take on the consistency of concrete blocks in extreme cold, or so it's been said. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly was not comfortable, and Matt Prater admitted that he didn't even test his leg beyond 61 yards pregame.

"It was so cold I didn't think we would kick one that far," he said. "I went back to I think 61 maybe."

Then Jacob Tamme ran out of bounds at the Tennessee 46-yard-line three seconds before halftime. That set it up inside the 65-yard mark that is the typical outer reach of an attempted field goal at the end of the half.

"Tamme told me after the game I owe him because he went out perfectly to make it a 64-yarder," Prater said, "so he told him I owe him a steak or something."

Befitting the conditions, perhaps caribou would be more appropriate. With a thud, Prater's foot struck the football -- effectively a frozen leather block.

"But by that time, my foot was numb, so I couldn't really tell," he said.

After that once-in-a-lifetime kick drew the Broncos within 21-20 at halftime, Manning resumed his work, soaring toward a performance that was as beautiful as any finely chiseled ice sculpture. 

And with that, the Broncos checked off their first goal Sunday: they qualified for the playoffs. If they cross other items off their task list, they'll have to hear the cold-weather critiques again, even though they looked more comfortable in the chill than a pack of polar bears.

"They'll find something. They'll probably say, 'Well, he's not good below zero.' They'll find something," said defensive tackle Terrance Knighton

"But I consider ourselves a weatherproof team."

Facebook Comments

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.