The quarterback was incredible individually, completing 27 of 42 passes for 462 yards and seven touchdowns on the day, matching an NFL record:
Peyton Manning ties an NFL record with his 7th TD pass of the game— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 6, 2013
Only five other players in history had thrown seven touchdown passes in a game, and it had not been done since 1969. Judy Battista of NFL Network points out that he had already set an NFL record:
Peyton throws 6th TD pass. Trudges off the field as calmly as if this were a practice. That's an NFL record -- 3rd career game with 6.— Judy Battista (@judybattista) September 6, 2013
Another impressive aspect was facing a difficult opponent in the Ravens. ESPN Stats and Information provided this statistic to show the rarity of the performance:
Peyton Manning: 1st QB to throw at least 6 TD passes in a game against the Ravens— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 6, 2013
Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun also provided a look at the dominant offensive showing against Baltimore:
The 49 points are the most the Ravens have ever allowed.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) September 6, 2013
The four-time MVP once again showed that he is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and continues to climb the list of the best of all time.
Manning threw two touchdowns to tight end Julius Thomas in the first half as Denver trailed 17-14 at halftime. However, he turned it on after intermission with five more touchdowns: one to Andre Caldwell, two to Demaryius Thomas and two to Wes Welker.
Along with Eric Decker, this group of targets is why many believe the quarterback could be headed for the best year of his career.
Last season, Manning finished with 4,659 passing yards and 37 touchdowns, both of which were the second-best marks in 14 seasons in the NFL. He led the league with a QBR of 82.4 to help the Broncos finish 13-3.
However, Denver was eliminated in the second round against the Ravens in a dramatic double-overtime game. This opening game was a bit of redemption for it.
With two receivers who totaled more than 1,000 receiving yards last season and a tight end in Thomas who appears poised for a breakout year, Manning has as many elite weapons around him as any point in his career.
Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight did the math to see how many touchdowns he could end up with:
Peyton Manning on pace for 112 touchdowns this season.— Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) September 6, 2013
While it is unlikely that Manning keeps up this pace, it is hard to argue that he is headed for big things in 2013.
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