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Published on 01/08/2013 at Tue Jan 08 09:00.
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Broncos coaches John Fox (left) and Mike McCoy (right) talk with quarterback Peyton Manning (center). (Image courtesy of The Globe and Mail)

If there’s one scary statistic to consider coming into the Denver Broncos‘ divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens this Saturday, it’s this: quarterback Peyton Manning and head coach John Fox have not fared well after a playoff bye.

Peyton Manning is 1-3 for his career in divisional playoff games following a bye. John Fox is 0-1, reports Mile High Sports’ Andrew Mason.

Manning’s three losses spread from the 1999 to 2007 seasons. His second-seed Indianapolis Colts lost at home to the Tennessee Titans in the 1999-00 playoffs. Again as the second seed, in the 2007-08 playoffs, the San Diego Chargers traveled to Indy and took care of Manning and company.

Perhaps most memorably, Manning and the first seed, 15-1 Indianapolis Colts hosted the sixth seed Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2005-06 playoffs, losing a game that allowed our own Denver Broncos to enjoy a home game against the Steelers in the AFC Championship round. Home field advantage didn’t help either host though, and the Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL.

The good news is two-fold. The team Manning beat in his one divisional round win following a first round bye was the Baltimore Ravens, 20-3. That win occurred in the 2009-10 playoffs, meaning perhaps Manning has finally “beaten” his bye-week blues.

John Fox lost his only such game much more recently — to Arizona in 2008-09.

Do these Broncos’ bye week blues give you pause, Broncos fans? They do for me. Hopefully a familiar foe and a history of success against Baltimore will help the Broncos overcome this statistic.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Doesn’t worry me too much. Manning has always struggled in the playoffs but he also had way too much pressure with Indy’s style built to protect leads not grind it out or come back from behind.

    With our defense we can play whatever style game we find ourselves in and the last couple games we haven’t played prevent offense as Big Pete called it so I think (hope) Fox is going to be alright too.

  • Pete Baron

    I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed, but when I first see an article, my eye looks at the picture. This picture looks like Manning is hurt and being helped off the field. lol. I was expecting some sort of injury story even though I know Manning hasn’t been hurt in a Broncos uniform, so that picture couldn’t possibly be a picture of Manning being hurt…. man, I think that sometimes I need to keep my observations to myself. haha

    Anyways, like Trog above me, I think that all the Colts’ games have relied 100% on Peyton Manning not playing good, but playing lights out great. As much as Freeney and Mathis are studs, that’s pretty much all their defense had, and when the cupboards are that bare, it all comes back onto the offense.

    This Denver team in my opinion, is the best team that Manning has ever played on, which means that all playoff and regular season trends/stats can pretty much get thrown out the window. Manning can win this game throwing for only 204 yards and a TD because not only is our running game capable of having a 114 yard runner with a TD, but our Defense is very capable of scoring as well, such as a 98 yard pick six. Those things just weren’t there for Manning’s Colts teams throughout his 14 year stint there.

    I’m sure I’ll throw out an article and include this in it, but honestly, the Ravens’ don’t pose much of a threat to us, especially off of the bye week. Keep in mind that Flacco will 100% throw 3-4 balls to us. All we have to do is not have bricks for hands, and regardless of how well the Ravens’ play defense, we will win this game.

  • Jon

    It might bother me if Peyton was the quarterback. But the guy is one of the smartest players in the NFL and he’ll make sure his teammates are well-prepared for Saturday.

  • T-Money

    Honestly, the only thing that scares me about coming off a bye-week is a slow start. We seemingly ALWAYS took a quarter or even two to wake the hell up every game this season. If we can go 2/3 on our opening drives… I think would shouldn’t have any issues. Same goes for the defense. Protect the scoreboard at 0… then defend your lead like you are losing.

  • Cheyenne Kid

    The Broncos players are itching to get back out there and play some footballl,even better than they have played before. That is the gist of what they are saying, so their focus again is spot on and we know what they did with that. They are confident without over-confidence and want to take care of business like they’ve done so far. They are one of the best Bronco teams ever and the NFL ,the media and the money people all agree that they are the most balanced team this season. i will be looking forward to this game on Saturday and feel confident also that the Broncos will be victorious. Go,go Broncos and Ramgage over the Ravens

  • BigMacDaddy

    The Broncos will be prepared to kick booty. Not to worry.

  • Willliam Clogston

    Manning has been great in the playoffs, statistically. Only Joe Montanna and Brett Favre have more career passing yards in postseason history, while only Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers have higher passer ratings in the playoffs among active QBs. He just has a bad record because his first 3 teams to make the playoffs, 199 Colts 2000 Colts 2002 Colts, weren’t very good teams. Reinforcing this point: Manning is 3-5 in playoff games in which he didn’t turn it over ONCE. Really the only time Manning was truly “upset” was the 2005 game because that team was VERY GOOD. The 2007 game was a loss simply because the Colts’ pass rush simply disappeared once Freeney was out for the season. Manning had 402 yards and 3 TDs in that game and gave the Colts the lead 4 different times, yet he had two balls bounce off receivers’ hands and end up as interceptions while failing to convert two 4th downs because the O-Line couldn’t protect him from Merriman. If you look at his typical postseason performance since 2003, Manning has averaged about 65%completion for around 300 yards and a TD w/ a Passer Rating just north of 90. That type of performance on Sunday combined w/ a good running game and a typical performance from the Broncos’ Defense should be more than enough for a win on Sunday.

  • Pete Baron


  • TheTroglodyte

    I like it!

  • TheTroglodyte

    I hate to break it to you but Manning has been awful in the playoffs his entire career until his last couple of years with the Colts and you are picking and choosing which numbers you want to see.

    I can pull some stats that would blow your mind but what’s the point. I’ve been a colts fan since before they drafted Manning and haven’t missed a playoff game in 15 years.

    Just go back and look at his numbers the year they went to the SB though. How they ever made it there is a miracle and had nothing to do with him. You take out those 3 games he played absolutely awful in and he has a 4 – 13 career playoff record.

    In 2003 he had a couple great games but was absolutely horrible in the game they lost. I mean it was terrible.

    And in cold weather, FORGET IT

    According to a poster in the Russell Street Report forums, Manning is 0-3 in postseason games below 40 degrees. He’s 64-120 with 612 yards, one touchdown and 7 interceptions in those losses. Manning’s Colts fell 41-0 to the Jets and 24-14 and 20-3 to the Patriots.