The Denver Broncos are the home team, hosting the #6 seed in the AFC playoffs. Even with the San Diego Chargers having defeated the Broncos earlier this year and the current winning streak they are on, it is reasonable to say that the Broncos should win this game.
That places on the pressure on the Broncos, and by extension, superstar quarterback Peyton Manning. And when it comes to words that we throw around so loosely, words like “legacy,” Manning ends up with a lot on the line.
He addressed that pressure heading into Sunday’s game. Here’s what he had to say (quotes from Mike Klis of the Denver Post):
Maybe, as you get older, you think more in those lines that, ‘Hey, this is a pretty unique opportunity to be in this position, to be one of just a few teams playing. It’s going to be a great atmosphere Sunday, playing a good football team, and there is nothing else I would rather be doing than be in that opportunity…
…And so that is certainly my goal to enjoy the preparation — not just the game — to actually enjoy the preparation part of it, enjoy being around the guys. Because certainly, the light is at the end of the tunnel for me, no question. And so, I think you enjoy these things maybe even more than maybe you have in the past.”
Manning has always been known for his tunnel vision. This ability to step back and consider the big-picture is not necessarily something we would expect from him. It will be interesting to see what difference, if any, it makes for his performance in the playoffs.