AFC West: Baltimroe Ravens

The Oakland Raiders’ interest in cornerbacks continues.

According to an NFL source, the Raiders, who are in need of two starting cornerbacks, are showing interest in Denver cornerback Tracy Porter. Oakland has also shown interest in cornerbacks Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins. Newman is expected to choose between Cincinnati and Oakland soon.

Porter is also getting interest from his original team, New Orleans. He could be a backup plan there should Nnamdi Asomugha not sign with the Saints.

Oakland’s interest in Porter is not surprising, as coach Dennis Allen was his position coach in New Orleans. Porter signed a one-year deal with Denver last year. He started the season as a starter but he fell out of favor with the team after he dealt with the affects of a seizure suffered in the summer. He never regained playing time once he was healthy.

In another AFC West note: columnist Jeffri Chadiha thinks Elvis Dumervil made a mistake by leaving the Broncos and signing with the Ravens.
The Denver Broncos are heavy favorites to beat the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday in the AFC divisional playoffs.

The primary reason, of course, is the presence of Peyton Manning. The quarterback is a leading MVP candidate and he's led the Broncos to 11 straight victories. There are few flaws in his game.

However, Saturday, Manning must prove something he hasn’t been able to do since his NFL career began in 1998: He must show he can win a cold-weather playoff game.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Manning is 0-3 in the playoffs when playing in temperatures under 40 degrees. The game-time temperature Saturday is expected to be around 25.

Manning threw one touchdown and seven interceptions those three games, ESPN Stats & Info reports. Also, under coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 10-7 in games when the temperature is under 40 degrees.

Do these numbers spell doom for Denver? No, not necessarily. Remember, all three of those playoff losses were on the road. Winning on the road is difficult in any condition. Also, Manning proved he can play win in chilly weather in Denver’s last two games, both at home, to Cleveland and Kansas City. Now, he needs to show it in the postseason.

So, while Manning’s cold-weather playoff record is, in fact, not good, the circumstances are different this year. But the only way Manning can prove he can win a cold-weather game in the postseason is to do it, and his chance is Saturday.



Saturday, 12/20
Sunday, 12/21
Monday, 12/22