Titans can't slow down Broncos in 51-28 loss

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: December 8, 2013
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DENVER (AP) — It was cold enough for Mike Munchak. Just not windy or wet like he had hoped.

Tennessee's coach was pining for the wild, wintry weather that hit so many other NFL cities Sunday because he figured that would slow down Peyton Manning and Denver's high-octane offense.

But that system had already moved through Denver, which is still stuck in a deep freeze.

It was clear and cold — 18 degrees at kickoff, about half that by game's end, when the Broncos walked off 51-28 winners, having become the first team since the 1969 Minnesota Vikings to top 50 points three times in a season.

Even the cold couldn't prevent Matt Prater from setting an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal as the first half expired, pulling the Broncos to 21-20 at halftime and giving them momentum for a second-half onslaught that buried the Titans (5-8), who had lost by double-digits just once all season.

"Even when we are coming here, I didn't really think that cold weather would affect the game unless it was backed up by heavy wind or gusts or something that would create issues with throwing the football or kicking the football," Munchak said.

"When you play those games when it's wet, and obviously with it being this cold, we knew this game wouldn't be that way, so I don't know if the game was affected at all by the weather."

Manning sure wasn't.

He completed 39 of 59 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns. His 39 completions were a Broncos franchise record and one shy of his career best set against Houston in 2010.

Manning also became the first quarterback in nine years to throw at least four TD passes with the temperature below 20 degrees and the first player in five years to throw for at least 390 yards in sub-20 degree weather.

So much for the notion that the four-time MVP crumbles in the cold.

"They were in rhythm," Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner said. "Peyton was throwing the ball on the money. For the most part it seemed like we were in good, tough coverage but you have to give them kudos, they were making plays. We were hanging in there and playing well in the beginning, but then they just took off like a rocket."

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