ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Given the Super Bowl will be played on Feb. 2, which coincidentally falls in winter apparently, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will almost certainly wear a glove on his throwing hand for the game.
Given it’s the Super Bowl and most anything can be classified as a talking point, the glove will be a topic of conversation as the army of cameras, notepads and microphones converge on the two Super Bowl teams next week.
Manning had tinkered with the idea of wearing a glove on his throwing hand when he played with the Indianapolis Colts, but it formally became one of the “adjustments" he’s says he’s had to make since returning to the field after spinal fusion surgery in 2011.
At various times, both in practice and in games, Manning has worn a glove, either just on his throwing (right) hand or on both hands in games. Though most have framed the glove as a cold-weather option, it is really something Manning has done because his grip was affected during his recovery from surgery.
The nerve that was affected went into his right triceps. And he’s worn it in all temperatures, including games in Houston (kickoff temperature was 58 degrees) and at Oakland in the regular-season finale when the kickoff temperature was 70.
But the it-sure-will-be-cold-for-the-Super-Bowl narrative will have a place for the glove in the coming days. So, for that, we offer this glove primer ...
The gloves were difficult to find -- the Broncos equipment staff spent plenty of time on reconnaissance missions before finding the winner. Or as Manning put it earlier this season; “I’ve experimented with them throughout my career, even when I was in Indy. I never just quite found a pair that I liked, so I finally found a pair that I liked ... The equipment guys kind of researched and gave me some options. Found a pair that I liked."
Manning has lit the lamp, both with or without the glove, as you would expect for a guy who set NFL single-season records with 5,477 yards passing and 55 touchdowns in an offense that set a league record with 606 points. But with the glove on his throwing hand in 10 games this season, including both of the playoff wins, Manning has thrown 33 touchdown passes and five interceptions. He’s had four 400-yard games and six games when the attempted at least 40 passes. So, his average line this season, with at least the right glove on, is 27-of-41 passing for 332 yards and 3.3 touchdowns per game. In his time with the Broncos and in 13 total games with the glove on his right hand over the past two seasons, his passer rating is 111.9.
The Broncos were 8-2 in those games, with one of the losses coming in November in New England, in overtime, when a punt hit cornerback Tony Carter in the leg to set up the Patriots’ game-winning field goal.
So, that should about cover it.