Sep 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws a pass during the first half against the against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Peyton Manning had an average night by his standards, but it was a tale of two halves. He completed 22 of 36 for 269 yards, 3 TDs, and no picks. However most of this production was in the first half. Aside from what was the winning TD early in the 4th quarter (the only 2nd half drive over 25 yards), the Broncos ran 23 plays on 7 drives. Is this something to be alarmed about? PFM doesn’t seem to think so.
"“I don’t think there was a huge change in our scheme or their scheme, we just didn’t execute as well,” Manning said of the second-half lull."
The first half did give us a glimpse into exactly how explosive we can expect this offensive to be. Manning connected with TE Julius Thomas 7 times for 104 yards and 4 TDs. So what did the future hall of fame QB think of his number 1 weapon in week 1?
"“Good game by him, good start. I think all the hard work he put into this offseason paid off tonight for him.”"
After Montee Ball plunged into the end zone from 3 yards out, 3:31 into the 4th quarter, it was up to the newly revamped defense to protect a 21 point lead. The challenge was to do it against one of the best QBs and toughest competitors in the NFL, Andrew Luck. This would prove to be quite the test.
"“That drive (the Ball TD) ended up being the difference,” Manning said. “Thankfully, our defense came up with some big stops.”"
With the win over the Colts, that completed Peyton’s victory tour through the NFL. Because of a career played in Indy and a 2013 loss at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts are the only team that Peyton Manning had not defeated. So PFM addressed that with his usual wit.
"“I think it means you have to be old,” said Manning. “(You) have to be 38 years old, probably at least, to beat all 32 teams. So I don’t think I’m going to have that one up on my mantel or anything, let’s put it that way.”"