Peyton perfect, yet an underdog?
Manning is 24-2 at home in the regular season since joining the Denver Broncos four years ago. One of those losses was to Houston, 31-25, and his current coach, Gary Kubiak, in 2012 when the Broncos were 1-point underdogs.
That was the only time odds-makers made Manning a home dog in the Rocky Mountains until this weekend, when they installed the Green Bay Packers (6-0) as a field-goal favorite.
"I think we should definitely not be an underdog, really. We're at home, undefeated," retorted cornerback Chris Harris Jr. "I guess they're just going off the offensive struggles the first half of the season. So, you kind of understand that. But we feel like we should never be an underdog, ever."
RJ Bell, founder and CEO of Pregame.com, said it's not just that the Broncos are 29th in offense or than Manning is the NFL's 31st-ranked passer, but that Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers and the league's best scoring defense at 101 points.
The Broncos are next at 102, although Denver's wrecking-crew defense actually is responsible for only 82 of those points as 20 have come off Manning's trio of pick-6s.
Nevertheless, Manning is an underdog for just the fourth time in a Broncos uniform, home or away.
The last time Manning was this big a home underdog was the season finale on Dec. 28, 2008, when the Titans were 3-point favorites at Indianapolis and Manning made a cameo appearance in the Colts' 23-0 win.
Despite their dominant defense and stout special teams, the Broncos have outscored their opponents by just 37 points, the lowest differential for a 6-0 team since the 1933 Chicago Bears, who were plus-34.
That's actually a good thing, Anderson argued.
The last few years, "we were blowing some people out and when we got into some tough situations it was hard to overcome," he said. "This year, we're just overcoming tough situations. Because we've just adapted to it."
He figures all those clutch drives and close calls will pay dividends down the road, maybe even at home Sunday night.