Peyton Manning threw seven touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night, September 5. In 60 minutes of football, that’s all you really need to know about how the Broncos felt about inviting the Super Bowl champions back into the “Mile High” city.
Just like last year, the Denver Broncos started slow, but this time it could have been attributed to the stormy weather in the Denver area. The first quarter was indicative of the weather delay, and Denver found themselves trailing 7-0.
In a game that had minimal rushing yards, the opening night of the season belonged to the epic quarterback match up between Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco. Bye the end of the game it turned out to be a showcase of one of the greatest performances ever.
A couple of mistakes changed this game in heartbeat. Flacco finished with 362 yards passing, but he had two interceptions along with his two touchdowns. The lack of a ground game took its toll as Joe Flacco threw the ball 62 times.
The tale of the game could be broken down to two drops. Dallas Clark dropped a sure touchdown pass seconds before the first half ended. Baltimore had to settle for field goal and a 17-14 lead. Little did we know that would be the last lead the Ravens ever saw.
In the third quarter, a Peyton Manning pass to Wes Welker was dropped, yet the officials called it complete on the field. It was the second incomplete pass by Denver that was ruled a catch. Somehow, Baltimore did not get the video in time to challenge the play. It turned a punt situation into the catalyst for the game changing drive.
By the time the third quarter ended, Peyton Manning put up three more touchdowns and the Broncos had a 35-17 lead. After another fourth quarter score, the game was all but over until a momentum shift created false hope for Baltimore.
Broncos’ linebacker Danny Trevathan jumped the flat and intercepted a Flacco pass. Then he raced to the end zone for the decisive score, yet for some reason, Trevathan dropped the ball before crossing the goal line. To make matters worse, fellow linebacker Wesley Woodyard was injured as he tried to pick up the ball in the end zone. The result of the play was a touchback and the ball went back to Baltimore.
Baltimore answered with an 80 yard touchdown drive, then they forced a three and out. For some reason, Denver decided to run the ball three straight times and punt. Once Baltimore got the ball back, the moved the ball and kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 42-27.
However, before things could get really scary, Peyton Manning hit Demaryius Thomas for his second touchdown on a screen pass.
Three Broncos caught two touchdowns a piece. Julius Thomas caught the first two, then Wes Welker got in the mix with a pair of touchdowns. Andre Caldwell caught one touchdown pass.
Peyton Manning completed 27 of 42 passes for 462 yards.
The Ravens gave up over 500 yards of offense.
Both teams combined for seven sacks combined.
The game saw four fumbles and two interceptions.