Odds Against Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos This Week

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls a play during the first half of the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

(Credit, Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

By Rich Kurtzman

For most of this historic season, the odds have been in favor of the Denver Broncos.

Early on, Las Vegas picked the Broncos as the preseason Super Bowl favorite and the men from the Mile High City (13/5) are only behind the Seattle Seahawks (12/5) in terms of betting odds currently.

But, that’s where the good times end for Denver. At least, odds-wise.

Yes, there are multiple different scary statistics when it comes to No. 1 seeds and their lack of success in the postseason’s Divisional round. For instance, six of the last 10 No. 1 seeds lost in the Divisional round. Or, the fact that No. 6 seeds are 6-2 against No. 1 seeds since 2005.

Of course, while the Broncos sit atop the AFC, San Diego snuck into the playoffs as the conference’s sixth-best team. Then, after beating the No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals 27-10, the Chargers won a meeting with Denver in the Mile High City.

And the last time two No. 1 seeds made it to the Super Bowl was 2009, when the Manning-led Indianapolis Colts met the Drew Brees-quarterbacked New Orleans Saints. Brees and the Saints won, as Manning threw a pick-six late to seal the deal.

But it goes even deeper. For Peyton Manning personally, his overall playoff record is 9-11not stellar or superb like his performances in the regular season, but below .500. His playoff record against the San Diego Chargers: 0-2.

And after winning the AFC five times, Manning’s teams are a shockingly bad 1-4 in Divisional round games. That includes the playoff game last year, losing to the Baltimore Ravens after receiving the first round bye.

This season, Manning and the Broncos are set up with another chance after the bye week; they’ve got to come through this time, right?

We’ll all have to wait and see, but at least Broncos fans can rest assured their offense is the greatest in the history of the NFL when they’re on their game.

Manning is a vastly important piece to that puzzle. The 37-year old quarterback not only throws the football with precision to teammates for touchdowns, but he’s back there dissecting the defense before every play. While some may think the veteran should be slowing down in his advanced age, all that knowledge and experience has led to his innate ability to break down any defense in seconds.

When he’s offlike he was during the frigid playoff game last January 12, throwing two interceptionsDenver’s chances of winning diminish greatly.

Certainly, the fate of this game rests on the broad shoulders of Manning, who has a chance to shut his critics up with a phenomenal performance.

Kickoff is scheduled for 2:40 p.m. MST on Sunday, January 12, 2014. 

For more news and updates about the NFL Playoffs, visit NFL Playoffs Central.

Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Rich is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Rich is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.