Broncos coaches John Fox (left) and Mike McCoy (right) talk with quarterback Peyton Manning (center). (Image courtesy of The Globe and Mail)
If there’s one scary statistic to consider coming into the Denver Broncos‘ divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens this Saturday, it’s this: quarterback Peyton Manning and head coach John Fox have not fared well after a playoff bye.
Peyton Manning is 1-3 for his career in divisional playoff games following a bye. John Fox is 0-1, reports Mile High Sports’ Andrew Mason.
Manning’s three losses spread from the 1999 to 2007 seasons. His second-seed Indianapolis Colts lost at home to the Tennessee Titans in the 1999-00 playoffs. Again as the second seed, in the 2007-08 playoffs, the San Diego Chargers traveled to Indy and took care of Manning and company.
Perhaps most memorably, Manning and the first seed, 15-1 Indianapolis Colts hosted the sixth seed Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2005-06 playoffs, losing a game that allowed our own Denver Broncos to enjoy a home game against the Steelers in the AFC Championship round. Home field advantage didn’t help either host though, and the Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL.
The good news is two-fold. The team Manning beat in his one divisional round win following a first round bye was the Baltimore Ravens, 20-3. That win occurred in the 2009-10 playoffs, meaning perhaps Manning has finally “beaten” his bye-week blues.
John Fox lost his only such game much more recently — to Arizona in 2008-09.
Do these Broncos’ bye week blues give you pause, Broncos fans? They do for me. Hopefully a familiar foe and a history of success against Baltimore will help the Broncos overcome this statistic.