By Rich Kurtzman
DENVER (CBS4) – Last Thursday, Peyton Manning kicked off the NFL season with a bang. Manning put on an aerial display not witnessed in nearly 45 years, tossing an NFL record-tying seven touchdowns on the way to a 49-27 Denver Broncos blowout of the reigning Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.
Those 49 points were also a record high put up against a Ravens defense; it was history in the making.
Manning hit tight end Julius Thomas twice up the seam of the field but the Broncos trailed 17-14 at half. Right out of the break he floated one on the money to Andre Caldwell down the sideline, then found new slot receiver Wes Welker for two jog-in scores.
In the fourth quarter, it was Demaryius Thomas’ turn to get in on the fun; the speedy wideout scored once on a fly route and another on a bubble screen he took 78 yards to the house.
For that miraculous performance – with a total of 462 passing yards – Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and he has been nominated as the FedEx Air Player of the Week. Denver Broncos fans can vote here for Manning to give him the best chance at winning the much-deserved FedEx Air award.
This is the 24th time Manning has received the AFC weekly honor, an NFL record.
Manning was nominated for the weekly FedEx Air award five times last season, winning once, while also being named the FedEx Air Player of the Year at the end of the season.
Going against Manning this week in the FedEx Air category are San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three scores, while Brees tossed two touchdowns for 357 yards on Sunday.
Three Broncos named to PFF weekly team
Pro Football Focus, a website dedicated to grading NFL player’s performances, put three Denver Broncos on their Week One team, it was announced Tuesday.
Julius Thomas is the team’s tight end, and PFF called him a “difference-maker” on their site after his two touchdowns started the Broncos sensational scoring off.
Denver defensive back Chris Harris made the team, rightfully so after his miraculous, diving interception of a Joe Flacco pass on Thursday. According to the site, only three of the eight passes against Harris were caught by Ravens receivers.
Finally, special teams captain David Bruton was honored with a selection as well. Bruton most notably blocked a punt, but he always shows up on kick and punt coverage teams, usually making a tackle.
Surprisingly, Manning was not the team’s QB, as they went with Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals instead.
For more Broncos news and updates, visit Broncos Central.
Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Rich is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.