Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
Asked whether he thinks he’s a different player in cold weather, Manning simply said, “I don’t.”
Asked why he thought he wasn’t a different quarterback in cold weather, he added only, “That’s not how I feel, so … did I miss the question?”
Manning is 3-7 in the regular season and postseason combined when the game-time temperature is 32 degrees or colder, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
He’s thrown for 11 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in those games and his completion percentage is 59.4 percent, well below his career average of 65.4. His 214.1 passing yards per game in those 10 outings are also well below his career average of 269.5.
Coach John Fox also doesn’t buy the notion that Manning is a different player in the cold, saying that 10 games is not a sufficient sample size for a player in his 16th season.
Manning has made one visible concession to cold or inclement weather with the Broncos since returning from multiple neck surgeries. He now wears a fitted glove on his throwing hand in rain or cold and snow. He wore gloves on both hands in New England when he threw for 150 yards, and a glove on his throwing hand this past weekend in Kansas City when he finished with 403 yards and five touchdowns.
“It’s just part of the adjustment I’ve kind of had to make,” Manning said. “I’ve said that I’ve had to make a lot of changes at this point in my career. I’m kind of coming off an injury and different team. It’s just been part of the adjustment … and still working through it kind of each time that I wear it.”
Manning experimented with gloves previously in his career, including during his time with Indianapolis, but said he “never just quite found a pair that I liked.”
With the Broncos, Manning’s overall sample size is 28 regular-season games and a postseason loss to Baltimore. He is 23-6 as a starter in those games with 80 touchdown passes and has averaged more than 300 yards per game.
However, the Broncos’ loss at home in last season’s playoffs and last month’s collapse in frigid Foxborough, Mass., when the Broncos led 24-0 at halftime but ended up losing in overtime, were confirmation for some that the phrase “cold shoulder” means something else entirely for Manning.
But Fox said in those instances that a defensive breakdown late in regulation against the Ravens and a bouncing punt against the Patriots were at the root of the losses.
“I don’t think where you’re located that you ever really get used to really cold weather,” Fox said. “I don’t think you grow thicker skin because you live in it. I don’t think it’s a physiological thing. I think a lot of it is mental, just dealing with the elements. That could be a torrential downpour, it could be a snowstorm. … And if we won those games, we wouldn’t be talking about the weather right now.”
- Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
- Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
- Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
of Selectors since 1999