After another 400 yd 4 TD performance from Peyton Manning (this time in the cold), it's starting to look like the reason Peyton loses games isn't because A) they're a playoff game, B) they're a cold weather game, or C) they're against the Patriots. It's starting to look more like Peyton loses games when the defense and special teams fail to execute, requiring perfect play from the QB position, especially after a week of the media taking him out of the game. That's still a huge concern and something that he should try and rectify, but yesterday proves he's more than capable of winning a game in a cold weather environment (which he's done before), and he's won the Super Bowl before, and he's beaten the Patriots before.
Think about his two losses this season: a loss to the Colts after an intense week of interviews and media focus on Peyton's return to Indianapolis, up to and including a pre-game ceremony welcoming Peyton back to Indy for the farewell he never got. Peyton had to give numerous interviews before the game, not to mention the whole Jim Irsay controversy. Even still, they had a shot to win.
Then the loss to the Patriots, when the media was all about Manning/Brady XIV (seriously? Worst name for a "bowl" ever) and again with the pre-game hype about Manning being unable to win in the cold and against Brady. Then the Broncos go up 24-0, and immediately go into "protect the lead, run the ball" mode. When Peyton had to make throws, he did. Again, they had a shot to win, led by a game tying 4th quarter Manning passing drive, but defense and special teams made huge errors. Broncos probably win the rematch.
So if the Broncos are going to miss the Super Bowl this year, it won't be because Peyton can't play in the cold or win a playoff game or beat Brady, it will be because the defense and special teams failed to do their job. Should be an interesting stretch the rest of the way to see how that team handles the pressure.