Robinson: Cold, hard truth about Manning
Peyton Manning must be thinking: Why did the NFL pick this season of all seasons, when I'm 37 and nearing the end of my career, to play a cold-weather Super Bowl?
The Denver Broncos' startling 34-31 loss at New England last week in which they couldn't hold a 24-0 halftime lead once again exposed Manning's Achilles' heel — or, perhaps more precisely, his Achilles' arm — just as the playoffs are approaching.
Cold, cold weather.
Much was made of Manning's inability to win in chilly weather (it was 22 degrees in Foxborough, Mass., with wind gusts in the high 20s), and the most-cited statistic is his 8-13 record in games played in temperatures of 40 degrees or less.
But as Pittsburghers know, 40 degrees in December can feel like a balmy day if there's no wind. So the Tribune-Review checked out how Manning does in very cold conditions — not 40 degrees with no wind but, for example, 27 degrees with a significant breeze.
The numbers are somewhat startling — and no doubt worrisome — for Manning given the outside possibility of a January rematch at New England and, of course, the outdoor Super Bowl in New Jersey. Or another game like the 12-degree playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens in Denver last season.
A search of Manning's career reveals he is 3-9 — 0-4 in the playoffs — in games played with a game-time temperature of 34 degrees or below. Those games were played at various stages of his career in venues such as New England (he's 0-2 there in such games), Cleveland, Buffalo, New York and, yes, Denver.
He is 272 of 462 for 2,747 yards (58.9 percent), 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in those games with a 64.7 passer rating. By contrast, his career completion percentage is 65.4 with a 96.7 passer rating. In those four very cold-weather playoff games, he has four TD passes and nine interceptions.
Part of the reason for Manning's big falloff in ultra-cold weather (he is 2-8 when it is 32 degrees or below) might be the infrequency with which he has played such games. From 2002-10, he played only four games under that scenario.
Tom Brady, by contrast, is 23-5 when the temperature is freezing or below.
“(Cold weather) is always a possibility these last months of the season,” Manning said. “And then you're potentially in the postseason, so I think the more you can be in it, the better off you are.”
The cold, hard facts are Manning is almost unbeatable in hot weather but a below-average quarterback in the cold.
With the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-10, Manning played in 12 games with a game-time temperature of 81 or above. He won each of those games, throwing 25 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. With the Broncos, Manning is 2-1 with 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions. His career record in hot weather is 14-1 with 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Think Manning wishes the Super Bowl was in Miami?
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule
- Steelers submit application to play host to Super Bowl in 2023
- Steelers running back Bell is taking long-term look at his NFL career
- Steelers wide receiver Wheaton embraces move to slot position
- Steelers notebook: Best RB tandem in NFL?
- Steelers CB Allen working to regain form, make an impact
- Rossi: Moats looks to make a splash with Steelers
- Australians rule punting competition for chance to play for Steelers
- QB Roethlisberger embracing teaching role with Steelers’ offense
- Steelers to honor Bettis with ring ceremony in October