Since he shut critics up with his performance against Tennessee in the cold, you have to wonder what Peyton Manning has up his sleeve for Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers.
No Wes Welker this week, sorry to say, who is nursing a concussion he received in Sunday's game, but you know there are plenty of other ways for Manning to work his magic. Expect there to be plenty of cheering in the Mile high air as Denver steamrolls toward wrapping up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
A win by the Broncos and a loss by the Patriots and the Chiefs would help a lot.
What Peyton Manning does more than anyone in this league, is silence his critics. When it comes to regular season games and Manning coming through - there is no discussion. When it comes to the post season, well we aren;t quite there yet. So let us leave that for another time and place.
A few weeks ago, it looked like the Chargers would be one of those teams who surprised the NFL and make the playoffs as a wild card team. Philip Rivers is still looking like a rejuvenated quarterback and the running game of Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead has been a true power in southern California. If the offense can keep up with the Broncos, this could be a high-scoring affair.
Here are three bold predictions for Thursday night's game...
50 for Peyton
Manning comes into this game with 4,522 yards for the team and 45 touchdowns. What would you say about the idea of the greatest quarterback of this era getiing 478 yards and five scores in thsi game, specifically? That would mean 5,000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns. Those two feats in the same game would put him in a stratisphere few ever reach. Manning makes it look too easy.
Cox can't keep up
The Broncos will expose the Chargers secondary. Derek Cox was signed to help solidify the secondary when he became free agent from Jacksonville. Cox was a great cover guy when he wasn't hurt in Jacksonville, but this season, it seems he is still looking for his place on the west coast. Watch Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas expose him all day long.
Phillips does a little dance
Shaun Phillips came into the game with nine sacks and could be on the radar of the entire San Diego Chargers offensive line. Phillips was originally drafted in the fourth round by the Chargers in 2004. In his 10th season in the league, Phillips is a pass rusher who is on everyone's radar.