Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos waited eight long months, then another 33 minutes, to get the season started.
A record-tying seven touchdown passes -- something no one had done in 44 years -- made it worth the while.
Connecting with his most prized addition, Wes Welker, and former college basketball player Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas for two TDs each, Manning directed Denver to a 49-27 victory over Super Bowl champion Baltimore on Thursday night in the NFL opener, a much-anticipated rematch against the team that ended the Broncos' playoff run in January.
''Peyton had an amazing night,'' Broncos coach John Fox said. ''Peyton's had a lot of amazing nights.''
Not like this, though.
Manning is the sixth QB in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game and the first since Joe Kapp did it for Minnesota against Baltimore on Sept. 28, 1969.
The others read like a Who's Who of passers who came along before the NFL became so pass-happy: Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George ...