You know when you are playing Madden and you are unstoppable, well last night Peyton Manning has that feeling. At least in the second half. Believe it or not the Denver Broncos were actually losing at halftime 17-14. If you stopped watching the game after the first quarter when you saw the miscommunication between Peyton Manning and the Broncos wide outs, you would be stunned when you saw the box score this morning.
The Broncos offense first three drives all ended in punts. Then after that everything changed. When the game ended the final stats saw Manning throw a record-tying seven touchdown passes. Manning is the sixth quarterback in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game. The last time this happened was when Joe Kapp threw 7 TD passes for Minnesota against Baltimore on Sept. 28, 1969.
To the delight of Broncos fans and fantasy football owners who have Manning on their team, the touchdowns just kept coming. In a game that was built up as the revenge game for the Broncos from what happened last year in the playoffs, Denver made a powerful statement. The Broncos proved the experts right when picked Denver to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, at least it looks that way after one game. A game doesn’t make a season, but Denver looks like a serious threat with all their offensive weapons.
One of those weapons, Julius Thomas exploded on the scene. “He’s phenomenal. To continue to come out every year and put that kind of performance on for us, it’s amazing,” Julius Thomas said. Demaryius Thomas also went in for two touchdowns.
Manning was 27-of-42 for 462 yards with no interceptions and the seven touchdown passes. He had a video game like quarterback rating of 141.1.
“I don’t like excuses but I do think that lightning delay did slow us down,” Manning said. “You guys have seen teams break it down: You come up for the team prayer, you put your hands in and you say, ‘Broncos on 3,’ and you go out to the field. We did it three times tonight.”
Almost having flashbacks of last year’s playoff game Manning said, “I felt like we had to keep scoring because Baltimore can score at any time.”
“It was a pretty good game for a while and it got away from us,” Ravens QB Joe Flacco said. He also gave Manning some praise saying, “That’s a sweet way to start a season. You get ahead throwing that many touchdowns. I mean, shoot, he’s almost halfway to 20 already.”
Joe did have the pocket collapse more in the second half than in the first half. They had to put more focus on the passing game, which took out Ravens star Ray Rice out of the game. Once the Ravens were playing catch up the running game was nonexistent.
The bright side for the Ravens is that it is just one game. The team will be able to gel especially more on the defensive side. The Ravens already have a target on their back for their victory in the Super Bowl, but add Flacco’s contact and the departure of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, the team will have to try even harder to get back into the playoffs.
Again this is just Week 1, but as we all know our society is all about the now. Both teams have great head coaches and will keep their teams grounded and get ready for Week 2.