The 2013 NFL season kicked off last night with the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens traveling to take on the Denver Broncos, a team the Ravens beat in dramatic fashion in the playoffs last year. Last night’s contest was anything but dramatic thanks to an all-time great performance from Peyton Manning.
Manning threw for seven touchdown passes in the game, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in over 40 years. The last guy to do it was Minnesota Vikings QB Joe Kapp in 1969. That was the same year as the original Woodstock, just to put things into perspective.
Manning’s record night might not have been possible had it not been for a missed opportunity by the Ravens. Trailing 17-14 on the opening drive of the second half, Manning threw a third-down pass to Wes Welker that was ruled a completion on the field. Replays showed that the ball clearly hit the ground, but the Ravens didn’t see the replay and couldn’t react in time.
The Broncos scored a few plays later to take a 21-17 lead and would stay ahead the rest of the game.
It’s hard to say what would have happened had that play been challenged, but credit has to be given to Manning for seizing the moment. Many people call Manning the greatest regular season quarterback of all time and with last night’s legendary performance, Manning has further cemented his legacy.
Like all great quarterbacks, Manning got everyone involved: two touchdowns apiece for Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. Andre Caldwell had the other TD on a beautiful touch pass, beating Ravens CB Jimmy Smith man-on-man.
After last night’s performance I think all if you will be seeing Manning’s game quite a bit in these new ‘game ball’ articles. Kudos to you, Mr. Manning.
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