At Dove Valley on Thursday - Nov. 7 on your calendar - Peyton Manning practiced in shorts. Several other players did, too, although Manning is notable, since we're all pretty convinced Manning doesn't like being cold. Put this in your Super Bowl brochure, Denver. New Jersey is hosting a Super Bowl. Why not Colorado? Detractors point to the single-digit temperatures on the day of the playoff loss to the Ravens. That was one miserable day, an anomaly. If the Broncos had hosted the AFC Championship Game the next Sunday, the weather was 48 degrees and sunny. Sounds like Super Bowl weather.
There's not a fountain of youth in San Diego. There's a Rivers in his youth. The Chargers quarterback is in the midst of his finest season since, well, maybe ever. His completion percentage leads the NFL (yes, ahead of Manning) and is the best of his career (72.2). His quarterback rating (106.5) and QBR (75.6) are the best of his career. Some credit must be attributed to head coach Mike McCoy, the ex-Broncos offensive coordinator. "It's a little different approach," Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said. What's different? Fewer home-run shots down the field. More dink and dunk. "It shows that he's more efficient with his passing," former Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips said.
Imagine this scenario: the Broncos are hosting the Chargers and you can't watch the game at home. It's blacked out on TVs around Colorado. What's next, shutting down the ski slopes? That is San Diego's problem. Well, it was San Diego's problem. The Chargers had four of eight home games blacked out last season. Sunday's game against Denver will be televised locally, though its TV availability was in question until Wednesday. In back-to-back weeks, the Chargers are playing the Redskins (with an NFL-best sellout streak of 381 games) and the Broncos (with a sellout streak dating to 1970). Sellouts in San Diego? Not often.