Revisiting Peyton Manning, cold weather and Super Bowl dreams

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PeytonNot that it matters, but the weather shouldn’t be a factor Sunday.

When Peyton Manning takes the field Sunday at MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII, he’ll do so in relatively benign conditions. The New York-New Jersey area endured snow, ice and freezing temperatures in recent weeks, and it was enough to send the media into full-on doomsday prepper mode.

But from the perspective of Wednesday, Manning can expect temperatures to be in the mid-30s by kickoff and drop into the high 20s later in the evening with only a 20 percent chance of precipitation. More importantly, wind doesn’t appear to be a factor, only blowing at 6-9 mph.

(Our Super Bowl pick doesn’t hinge on whether it’s snowing but if it’s windy. Because if Manning was tasked with throwing in 25-plus mph winds, that would favor the Seahawks’ stout running game and dominating defense. But if Manning can open the offense up — and it looks like he can — it makes the Broncos an attractive pick.)

We mention all this not because the two Super Bowl teams — Denver and Seattle — aren’t accustomed to inclement weather, but because of the tired storyline that Manning goes from one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history to Brandon Weeden whenever the weather turns.

We first addressed this back in early December where we noted that much of this thinking goes back to Manning’s inability to beat the Patriots in the postseason following the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Clearly, that wasn’t an issue in the AFC Championship game 10 days ago where the Broncos cruised to a 26-16 win. Yes, it was 63 degrees and Manning was his usual clinical self, but Tom Brady, who finished 24-of-38 for 277 yards with 1 TD and 0 INTs, can’t even blame the weather for his inability to hit several wide-open receivers.

There’s also this, via Will Brinson: Despite the postseason struggles early in his career, Manning has out-Brady’d Brady the last five years.

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