Well…so much for the “Flacco Flap” – the hubub over the oversized banner of QBs Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning at Mile High Stadium (or whatever corporation bought the naming rights).
The fans said it was a bit too much of an in-your-face reminder of “thuh bombe” from Flacco to Jacoby Jones late in last year’s playoff game, ending with an overtime victory by Baltimore.
BOY, what a difference a year makes!
Tonight it was Peyton Manning’s time to shine. He had a 27/42 passing day with – get this – 462 yards and 7 TD passes.
Oh man, I’m glad I’m not facing the guy who has him in my Fantasy leagues the first day.
Brady completely exposed a Ravens defense that was gutted after their Super Bowl victory in February. Manning worked for it too – the TD tosses were 24, 23, 28, 5, 2, 26 and finally 78 yards, so 5 of the 7 scoring strikes came from completely outside of the red zone.
Manning tied the single-game NFL record, last accomplished by the Joe Kapp in 1969 – 44 years ago.
The Baltimore Ravens kept close for a while, at least, going in at halftime down only 21-17 and leading after the first quarter, 7-0.
It may have taken Peyton a bit of time to warm up in the cool Denver night air – he’s getting up there in years now so them ole bones take a while to get the creaks out…but when he did? LOOK out….
The Broncos’ “Two Thomases” – WR Demaryius and TE Julius – both had over 100 yards receiving and a pair of TDs each while Wes Welker had a pair of TDs on 9 rec 67 yards. Andre Caldwell had the lone TD reception to put the total at seven.
In a way, I’m glad this was the outcome. I don’t have a dog in the fight there, but gosh how sick I got hearing about Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens and their Super Bowl run…and an offseason full of excuses about why they would still be a good team, despite losing 80% of their good players, many of which left due to Flacco’s monster salary.
It’s only one game, but this doesn’t bode well for the defending champs, quite obviously. It also erases a lot of doubts the might have been hovering around Manning’s age or their rush defense being slack.
At this rate, everyone will be passing because they’re behind and won’t run. Baltimore had only 19 rushing attempts the entire game while Flacco aired it out 62 times.
After the game, the Harbaugh Family rallying cry was overheard coming from the Ravens locker room:
“WHO’S got it better than US?” the John Harbaugh shouted.
“EVERYBODY!” came the unanimous response from the team.
Looks like the work there has really just begun.
Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye