Severe thunderstorms delayed the start of the NFL season by 33 minutes but could not prevent Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos from battering the defending-champion Baltimore Ravens, 49-27, Thursday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. Manning amassed 462 yards through the air for a franchise-high seven passing touchdowns -- a mark that hadn't been reached in the league since the 1960s.
It was Manning's:
- 23rd game with four passing touchdowns (ties Brett Favre)
- seventh game with five passing touchdowns (ties Drew Brees)
- third game with six passing touchdowns (first ever)
- 73rd game with 300 yards passing (extends own record).
The Vikings' Joe Kapp in 1969 was the last QB to pass for seven TDs.
First half injuries to Jacoby Jones and Michael Oher set the tone for Baltimore's collapse following halftime. The Ravens became one-dimensional with the offensive line bruised and the offense lacking a deep threat. Joe Flacco tried to throw his team back into the game, but the under-utilization of Ray Rice was noticeable as the game continued.
It's only one game, but the Wes Welker and the strength of Demaryius Thomas. Offensively the team was a mess, even when taking into account the team's injuries. The 49 points given up by the defense set a franchise record.looked like a vulnerable team. Their defensive front is talented, but the secondary struggled with quick-twitch routes from
The Broncos look more dangerous than ever. Despite missing Von Miller and Champ Bailey, the defense didn't miss a beat, sacking Joe Flacco four times.
Fantasy studs and duds
Manning was other-worldly on Thursday night. Finishing with 462 yards and seven touchdowns, he was unquestionably the stud of the game.
Wide receiversand Welker were beneficiaries of the show, both finishing two touchdowns each. Thomas added 161 yards receiving.
Fans will rush to put in a waiver claim on tight end Julius Thomas. The third-year tight end set the night on fire with 110 yards and two touchdowns. If he can become Manning's favorite tight end he'll be the best waiver pickup in the league.
Jones left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury as a result of a collision on a punt. It was later described as a knee sprain and he did not return to the game.
Oher's leg was hit on a goal-line run by Rice. He left the game limping and was listed as 'questionable'.
Did they cover?
The Broncos entered Thursday's game as 7.5-point favorites, according to OddsShark. Their 22-point victory meant they covered easily.
Sept. 15: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
Sept. 15: Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants