Peyton Manning hasn’t seen that much of the Pittsburgh Steelers during his career, but when he has, they have given him headaches.
“It’s a new season for us, but some things don’t change,” Manning said. “You know that Pittsburgh it going to have an excellent defense, they’re extremely well coached, they play well together, and the have excellent players. It’s a lethal combination there.”
Manning is 2-2 against the Steelers all-time and has an average QB rating of 85.9 against the team. He has 8 career touchdowns and 3 career interceptions against them also.
The challenge is certainly extended and the showdown will occur on a national stage.
“I’ve always felt that it’s probably as close to a playoff atmosphere as you can get in the regular season,” Manning said of opening day.
Ever since the Broncos signed Manning in March, all anyone could ever do was predict what was going to happen. Now the predictions (good or bad?) become a reality.
As for how Manning views all the expectations that Broncos fans have placed on him, he’s remaining calm and relying on his hard work just as he would while changing the play at the line of scrimmage.
“I don’t really carry that burden,” Manning said of the fans expectations. “I know how hard I’ve worked to get back to this position, how much time I put into rehabbing, how hard I’ve worked to try to get comfortable in this system…I’m going to play as hard as I possibly can. That’s really all I know to do. I understand that Denver Broncos football fans expect a lot out of their team and that’s the kind of environment that you want to play in. I’m also a realist that it’s a 16 game season. There is a chance that we could lose some games this year.”
Broncos fans don’t expect perfection. We expect better than last year. So do the Broncos. Anything less than an appearance in the divisional round of the playoffs will be a disappointment for everyone involved.