Peyton Manning just proved once again that he is the best quarterback in football. Manning was brilliant on Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens, throwing seven touchdown passes to go along with 462 yards. He did it the way he always does — by manipulating the defense.
In this game, he toyed with the Ravens’ safeties. When they dropped deep, he took short flats that often went for 10 yards after the catch (on one occasion, Demaryius Thomas took it the distance). When the safeties stayed up, he threatened deep or to the sides of the field. He hit many different receivers on all different routes in ways only Manning could.
There were other candidates, of course. Aquan Boldin had a huge game with over 200 yards receiving, and A.J. Green wasn’t too shabby with 162 yards receiving and two touchdowns. In another week, they may have won, but Manning was simply too brilliant.
Oddly enough, no running backs had huge weeks besides LeSean McCoy, who had over 150 yards rushing. Still, McCoy did it on over 30 touches, so he was good on a per-touch basis, but not incredible. All in all, it was the week of the quarterback. Quarterbacks threw 63 touchdown passes, the most for any single week ever, and Manning led the way with seven.
The player with the second most yards was Peyton’s brother Eli Manning, who threw for 450 yards. Both the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos have injuries to key cornerbacks with Prince Amukamara and Champ Bailey respectively. If neither can play, it might be a huge a shootout in New York.
Regardless of what happens next week though, Manning was the best player of Week 1.