1) Peyton Manning Plays Bad In Cold Weather: Fiction
Let’s preface this misconception with the obvious fact that Peyton Manning played the first 14 seasons of his NFL career in a dome. Therefore, until last season he had never quarterbacked a home game in which the temperature was below a 32 degree threshold. Last season the only game Manning played with the temperature below 32 degrees was the playoff game against Baltimore, his slash line:
28/43 (65%) for 290 yards with 3 TD’s and 2 INT’s
Manning also played only one game inside a dome (ATL), his slash line:
24/37 (65%) for 241 yards with 1 TD and 3 INT’s
This is clearly a minute sample size, but it goes to show that like any quarterback, Peyton struggles more on the road rather than in cold weather, a career record of (89-29) at home and (75-43) on the road. It comes down to the nuances of his cadence and pre-snap checks, not his inability to throw in the cold. It’s a mere coincidence that those cold games have almost always been on the road.
2) Demaryius Thomas is an Elite Receiver: Fiction
Some of you may have seen me post this in the comments and game thread sections, and this misconception hurts me more than anybody. I come from a family with two siblings that graduated from Georgia Tech, I’ve met the man personally, and I love everything about his story and demeanor; that being said he is not YET an elite receiver.
The way I see it the truly dominant receivers separate themselves from the rest of the pack with the ability to take over a game, the determination and will to beat however many guys cover them. Guys like Calvin, AJ Green, and V-Jax consistently rise above double and triple teams to purely out-physical the puny corners covering them. Demaryius’ ability after the catch is otherworldly, and in recent weeks Peyton has shown a willingness to allow DT to take over the game by targeting him in crunch time attempting to showcase his athleticism, it hasn’t worked yet.
I’d love to see Demaryius do a Von Miller and add some weight that will help him throw guys around and elevate over defensive backs. I think he certainly can become a top 5 wide receiver in the game, and he’s right on the ledge, it will just take a few minor adjustments.
3) Injuries Are Our Largest Concern: Fact
The most concerning injuries clearly fall on the defensive side of the ball. In my opinion (another one I’ve consistently shared in the comments) Rahim Moore’s absence is the largest obstacle facing this team. Our cover-man scheme relies on solid man coverage from our elite corners with a deep centerfield safety in cover one, which I (probably more than most) think Rahim Moore is great at. I worry that the increased coverage emphasis on guys like Danny Trevathan, Wesley Woodyard, and Duke Ihenacho could bite us in the ass.
The other injuries that really worry me are Kevin Vickerson and Derek Wolfe, neither provides much pressure but they are consistent with their gap assignments and more than solid against the run. Malik Jackson has done a great job of filling in as a spot pass rusher, and his increased role against all offensive platforms will be pivotal moving forward.