In the AFC Wild Card game, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals had to deal with Mother Nature dumping rain on them for nearly four quarters. The weather altered the game plan for both teams, and a crucial Jeremy Hill fumble likely was aided by a wet football and conditions.
The Steelers, now advanced to the Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs, will play the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning in Denver Sunday, and the weather could again play a factor in the outcome of the game. It won't be rain or snow, but cold weather which would impact the game, especially Manning himself.
Weather reports are calling for temperatures in the 30s at kickoff, and slowly dropping as the sun goes down and the game unravels. But these temperatures aren't uncommon for either Pittsburgh or Denver, but for Manning, his record in sub 40-degree weather in playoff games is worth noting.
Per ESPN, in playoff games where the kickoff temperature is under 40-degrees, Manning is 0-5. In those games, Manning has thrown 5 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. What might be most surprising is in those games, Mannning's teams have been outscored 147-65.
Before Steelers fans start celebrating the colder weather, Manning has performed in sub-freezing weather, just not in the playoffs. In 2013, the Broncos beat the Tennessee Titans 51-28 in Week 14 with kickoff temperature at 18-degrees. In that game, Manning threw for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns in the game. It was in an interview after the game Manning told reporters, "whoever wrote that narrative can shove it where the sun don't shine."
Manning has a chance to exorcise those cold weather demons against the Steelers, or the narrative which he hates so much could live on. Better bundle up.