Idle for the past two weeks, Peyton Manning has been splayed out for all to see under that Walmart-sized microscope we in the media drag out whenever real news dries up.
He doesn’t like the cold. He chokes in the playoffs. The arm-speed is down.
Okay, enough. On Sunday, given the opportunity at last to respond to all the various critical claims in the only meaningful way that he can, all Manning did was slice the San Diego Chargers and their inflated playoff pipedream into bite-sized chunks. Manning’s Denver Broncos rolled on to the AFC Championship game on the wings of a textbook 24-17 victory in a game where the Chargers scored all their points in the fourth quarter.
After San Diego had pulled to within seven on a field goal with 3:53 left in the contest, Manning was able to generate three crucial third-down conversions, working the clock while forbidding Philip Rivers and his offence to have access to the ball.