Chances are Peyton Manning will be like most of the fans in the stands at MetLife Stadium and will wear gloves at the Super Bowl.
That shouldn’t be a cause for concern for Denver Broncos fans. He actually plays better with the sticky-feeling orange-and-gray glove on his right hand than he does barehanded.
Manning never wore a glove in Indianapolis but in his two years in Denver he’s worn one on either his throwing hand or on both hands 13 times. He has a passer rating of 111.9 in those games.
Barehanded, his QB rating is 108.7.
It’s not just a cold-weather option, as many people think, either.
The glove is actually a concession to the altered feel of his grip after spinal fusion surgery in 2011 affected the nerve that travels into his right triceps.
He’s worn the glove the last four games, when the temperatures at kickoff have been 58 at Houston, 70 at Oakland, 41 at home against San Diego, and 63 last Sunday in Denver against New England.
“I’ve experimented with them throughout my career, even when I was in Indy,” Manning said earlier this season. “I never just quite found a pair that I liked, so I finally found a pair that I liked.”
Broncos equipment manager Chris Valenti and his assistant Mike Harrington “researched and gave me some options,” Manning said. “Found a pair that I liked.”
Good thing, too.
Manning has thrown for 33 TDs and five interceptions, including the playoffs, with the glove on his throwing hand in 10 games this season. The Broncos went 8-2 in those games, when he averaged 27 completions in 41 throws for 332 yards with 3.1 TDs and 0.8 interceptions.
BACK TO THE MEADOWLANDS
When they made the trip to the East Coast in December, the last thing anyone in the Seahawks’ locker room wanted to talk about was them playing a late-season game at the site of the Super Bowl.