The puffs of icy breath were visible all the way up in the press box. Peyton Manning's play calls were clouds, breath, breath, breath, snap.

This was supposed to be his downfall, this crisp, clear cold, the kind that'll freeze a foot, cleat, sock and all, upon contact with the frozen turf.

This was supposed to be Manning's Achilles heel, the only thing that could calcify the arm of a generation's greatest quarterback.

Supposed to be — but don't tell Manning.

The quarterback who's supposed to shrink at the thought of freezing weather instead led the Broncos to a 51-28 victory over the Titans with a barrage of passes that sliced through the 18-degree (and dropping) air, silencing criticism and paving what should be a clear path to his fifth MVP award.

Granted, it wasn't easy. The day started out with seemingly everything breaking against Denver, from a Bronco-on-Bronco injury to a drive in which first Eric Decker and then Wes Welker fell splat on the rock-solid ground with what appeared to be touchdown passes — except, of course, that replays said otherwise.

For the second game in a row, Denver dug itself a hole,this one 21-10 with 6:58 remaining in the first half. For the second consecutive Sunday, it looked like a lesser team might have the Broncos' number.

Then Manning took over, just as he did last week in Kansas City, although this time the mercury wasn't hovering around 50 degrees.

Peyton Manning, in the cold, successful? What is this, madness?

No, it's Manning having his way. In his four cold-weather games wearing a glove as a Bronco, Manning's offense has scored 38, 35, 31 and now 51 points. In other words, all the chatter about him not being able to function in the cold is just that, chatter. It's just that this is Manning's first cold-weather victory since 2012, and he's only 2-2 as a Bronco with a glove, but even so, Sunday should end the questioning. At least for now.