Peyton Manning won the Poster War. Manning was hanging in banner form back turned to his enemy pictured in the classic quarterback pose a glove missing from his right passing hand. The other poster controversially hanging outside the stadium that Denver-area taxpayers and Broncos owner Pat Bowlen built was Joe Flacco. He represented the bane of what Denver fans wish for. After the Broncos roared to a 49-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL's season-opening game Thursday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High may Manning posters decorate kid bedrooms near and far. Late in the fourth quarter the Broncos and stadium management started taking down the Flacco posters. Imagine the civil unrest they would have incited as Broncos fans exited the stadium. In his first regular-season game since he turned 37 years old Manning threw not one not two or three or four touchdown passes. Or five. Or gasp six. Manning threw seven touchdown passes! That tied an NFL record joining five others to do it. "We had great protection" Manning said. "It was a fun night to play quarterback....Once we got into a rhythm we got into a flow." Broncos coach John Fox said of his quarterback "This was pretty phenomenal." Manning was 27 of 42 for 462 yards. He was indiscriminate in choosing his targets. The Broncos are supposed to have one of the NFL's best receiving trios in Demaryius Thomas Eric Decker and Wes Welker. But Manning threw his first two touchdown passes to young tight end Julius Thomas who entered the game with one career catch in two NFL seasons. The third scoring pass went to No. 4 receiver Andre Caldwell who had just one catch last season. About Julius Thomas Manning said "He made two huge plays for touchdowns." Once he had the Ravens' defense loosened up Manning went to his more expected target of Welker for two short scoring tosses. Then he hit Demaryius Thomas early in the fourth quarter for another TD. And he capped his night with another TD pass to Thomas this one for 78 yards. It was Welker's Denver debut and the former New England Patriots star had a mixed performance muffing a punt that set up a Ravens touchdown but also hauling in eight catches through the third quarter. "It was a good team effort" Welker said. "We call came out and executed really well. The defense did a great job got some three and outs and the special teams made plays." About the crowd he said "I've never seen anything like it in my career." For Manning it was a historic night.
Manning throws NFL record 7 TDs as Broncos rout Ravens
Denver Post | Sep 6