Saturday, January 11, 2014

Expect Peyton's revenge on Sunday

Peyton Manning's team had the division title all but wrapped up when they faced another AFC playoff contender in a December regular season home game.  Manning's high powered offense was sure to beat this marginal AFC playoff hopeful right?  Wrong!  This AFC team upset Manning's team that day, in one of the biggest surprises of the NFL season.

The San Diego Chargers defeating Peyton Manning's Broncos last month in Denver?  No, the season I am referring to was 2003, when the Denver Broncos beat Manning's Colts in Indianapolis in the second to last game of the season.  The Broncos won that day with a strong running game (136 yards from Quintin Griffin and a defensive scheme that confused Manning, holding Peyton to 146 passing yards and no td's.

That 2003 Denver upset was very similar to this season's Chargers win in Denver.  San Diego kept the ball away from Manning with a strong running game, just like the 2003 Broncos did from Peyton's Colts.

Was the 2003 Bronco win a preview of what would happen when the two teams met in the playoffs two weeks later, again on Peyton's home field?  No!  Manning's Colts easily won the playoff rematch, 41-10.  Whatever Denver did on defense the first game did not work in the rematch.

I expect the same type of result tomorrow.  Peyton Manning, with two weeks to prepare for the Chargers, will have a much better day than he did in the regular season Charger game.  Fans seem to think that because San Diego played Denver so tough in the December regular season game, that they can duplicate the result in the playoffs.  I think Peyton gets his revenge against the Chargers and the Broncos win on Sunday, just like Peyton's Colts got their revenge against the 2003 Broncos in the playoffs.

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