What a difference a quarter makes. There is a vast difference in perception and results when it comes to the two quarterbacks who will be on the field in Denver on Sunday.
Play word association and say "Peyton Manning." The compliments likely will follow as Manning has shown an amazing ability to come back from a season on the sideline to lead the Broncos back into the playoff hunt.
Say "Philip Rivers," and the discussion will be a little more pessimistic this season. His team is 4-5. His coach is on the hottest of seats. And Rivers is on track to set a career high for interceptions in a season.
And it basically comes down to how the two have handled the fourth quarter.
In the first through third quarters this
Denver QB Peyton Manning (Denver Post file)
season, Manning has completed 175-of-244 passes (71.7 percent) for 2,054 yards to go with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.
In the first through third quarters this season, Rivers has completed 153-of-219 passes (69.9 percent) for 1,725 yards to go with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Then there is the fourth quarter. Manning has the second-highest, fourth-quarter passer rating in the league behind Jay Cutler, and Cutler has thrown 35 fewer fourth-quarter passes than Manning.
Manning has been virtually unstoppable in the final 15 minutes this season, having completed 55-of-86 passes (64 percent) for 651 yards to go with nine touchdowns (42.9 percent of his season total) and no interceptions.
The Broncos have three comeback victories because of it, including the improbable victory in San Diego when Denver trailed 24-0 at halftime. Playoff seasons are made of such performances, when any team, no matter the resume, will get pushed to the edge at some point.
Rivers is 33rd in the league in fourth-quarter passer rating (56.5) or last among the league's starters. Both Arizona quarterbacks, John Skelton and Kevin Kolb, are ahead of him on the list.
Read more: Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers separated by fourth-quarter performances - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci...#ixzz2CDTuhasF