Denver’s advantage: gone with the wind?

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It used to be that when talking about environmental conditions, the focus was on Denver's altitude, and the advantage it provided the Broncos.

These days, we fear things like the temperature, or this weekend, the wind.

It's not expected to be particularly cold tomorrow, but the forecast calls for winds in the 15-20 mph range.

Are these just overblown (sorry) concerns from a media just looking for things to worry about?

Not necessarily.

Peyton Manning is still an exceptionally accurate quarterback - deep balls inclusive - and even if his arm isn't what it was pre-neck surgery, it's not weak.

But he does throw a lot of wobbly passes, and wobbly flying objects are more susceptible to the influence of the wind than non-wobbly flying objects.

As always, there were other factors, but Peyton's only poor performance of the season came during a night with 22 mph winds at kickoff.

If the wind ends up being an issue on Sunday, that will play right into the Chargers' MO - more on that below.

This isn't a Chicken Little deal here - the Broncos are still a far better team, and they've had two weeks to rest and prepare for tomorrow's game. It's likely they will emerge victorious.

But the wind may end up playing a role in the outcome. Let's just hope it doesn't.

Broncos

Videos: The Playbook guys break down the matchups from the perspective of the Denver offense and defense; a Lakewood couple is selling its vast collection of Broncos memorabilia.

John Fox says he's seen plenty of progress from young defensive linemen Malik Jackson and Sly Williams as their roles have grown.

Shaun Phillips admits he's a little more geared up to face his former team; Trindon Holliday has muffed a whopping six returns over the past two months; Matt Prater explains his unique pre-kick routine.

Terrell Davis has a healthy perspective on his latest HOF snub, and he doesn't think these Broncos are feeling pressure because of last year's early exit.

Eric Edholm thinks Denver's greatest offseason needs are at corner, tackle, and defensive line, but we'd go with middle linebacker (as usual), safety (same), and wide receiver (assuming Eric Decker leaves).

Chargers

Since his return from ACL surgery, Melvin Ingram's playing time has steadily increased over the past five weeks.

Philip Rivers has been quite deadly this season while using play-action.

Robert Mays says the Chargers have been ball control freaks all season long; not just against Denver. Judy Battista confirms this, noting their ranking as the offense with the fewest three-and-outs and plethora of epic drives.

Speaking of control freaks, it sounds like Mike McCoy is a bit of one, and this week's close-to-the-vest injury talk is apparently par for the course.

San Diego has gotten key contributions from each of its top three draft choices this season.

News

Minnesota will indeed interview Niners OC Greg Roman, perhaps even today; Miami interviewed Mini Shanny for their OC vacancy; Oakland re-signed assistant coach Tony Sparano for two years.

Buffalo re-signed punter Brian Moorman.

Analysis

Andy BenoitGreg CosellBurke/Farrar, Chase Stuart (Niners/Panthers), Football Outsiders (AFC, NFC), Peter King, and Ashley Fox preview the weekend's games.

All-22: Doug Farrar details the greatness of Denver's Chris Harris; Matt Bowen on Saints RB Mark Ingram; Ben Muth lauds Cincy's offensive line.

Bill Simmons resists every urge in his body and takes Denver, laying the 9.5 points. Of course, he takes every shot at Peyton Manning he can think of, even lumping him in with Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton.

Joel Corry speculates that Baltimore will end up reworking Terrell Suggs' contract with an extension.

Miscellany

Patrick Hruby remains convinced that ex-players are getting shafted by the NFL's concussion settlement.

PFT Commenter lists his All-Narrative team.

Rob Neyer thinks the BBWAA lost even more credibility (they had any left?) by suspending Dan Le Batard this week. Meanwhile, their own VP employed a similar method to construct his own ballot several years ago.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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