So it appears that Peyton Manning still has game left.
He came out firing on the Baltimore Ravens and never stopped. Forty-two pass attempts, 27 completions, 462 yards, seven touchdowns, no interceptions . . . yeah, that left a mark on the once-mighty Ravens defense.
No NFL quarterback had thrown seven TD passes in the game since the great Joe Kapp did it back in the day of single-bar facemasks.
From high above the fray, Broncos football czar John Elway enjoyed the spectacle. His gamble is paying gigantic returns. Elway courageously ditched fan favorite Tim Tebow and placed a massive bet on the battered Manning two years ago.
Peyton was very good coming back from neck surgery last season. As for this season, well, you probably saw some of that carnage yourself Thursday night.
Here is how the Twitterverse reacted to the show:
Adam Schefter, ESPN.com: “Not only did Peyton Manning tie NFL record with 7 TD passes, but his 46 fantasy points were 3rd-most by a QB since merger.”
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: “Wes Welker on Manning's TDs: "It didn't seem like that many. You're sitting there going, ‘That was seven?' He's just so nonchalant.’”
Ian Rappaport, NFL.com: “Peyton Manning noted how Joe Kapp, who once threw for 7 TDs, ‘kicked the crap out of a guy on YouTube.’ Good googling knowledge there.”
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: “Wonder if a Ray Lewis speech could have prevented this? Uh, no.”
Joe Sheehan, SI.com: “A defense comprised of actual ravens wouldn't be much worse than this.”
Chris Mortensen, ESPN.com: “Can't figure out how Peyton Manning threw 7 TDs without running spread option.”
Mark Mulder, former Cardinals pitcher: “Is it just me or does Manning throw some of the most perfect wobbly passes. Almost like its a non-spiral on purpose.”
Michael Silver, NFLcom: “Peyton Manning is a system QB. He IS The System.”
Nate Silver, ESPN.com: “Peyton Manning on pace for 112 touchdowns this season.”
Rachel Nichols, Turner Sports: “Seven. My Lord. Oh, and now Peyton has 10 days to prep for facing his baby brother at the Meadowlands in Week 2.”
Ben Frederickson, FoxSportsMidwest.com: “Rats. I wanted Peyton to suck so I could write a hot take column linking his crappy season opener to Football On Your Phone.”
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: “Julius Thomas, on Manning's record-tying night: ‘We were joking, that's like Madden, the only time you get to throw seven touchdowns.’”
Sports Pickle: “Just imagine how unstoppable a player with Peyton Manning's bum neck and Adrian Peterson's torn up knee would be.”
Trey Wingo, ESPN: “Dear Wes, we didn't mean it. Please come home. Signed, Tom.”
DJ Gallo, ESPN.com: “Ty Detmer throwing 7 interceptions in a game in 2001 is more amazing to me because the Lions were so bad they left him in the game.”
MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE
Questions to ponder while wondering if Lance Lynn will make another start for the Cardinals:
Wasn’t it nice of Manning to remind us of Kapp, a former Vikings and legendary grumpy old man?
Do you get the idea that Texas A&M is pretty cool with just about anything Johnny Manziel does?
QUIPS ‘R US
Here is what some of America’s leading sports pundits have been writing:
Bill Simmons, ESPN.com: “If you imagine Browns fans as prisoners who have been confined to solitary since 1999, it makes a little more sense. When someone gets out of solitary (or in this case, 14 years of Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel, Tim Couch, Derek Anderson, Pat Shurmur, Brady Quinn, Chris Palmer, Colt McCoy and everyone else), they don't need a fancy five-course meal right out of the gate. They'd be overjoyed with a juicy burger, some well-cooked fries and a fizzy soda. And that's what the Browns are offering them this season: Instead of panicking and trying to win right away with one of those goofy Carson Palmer–type trades, they're building around their lines, their defense, their running game, the Dawg Pound and a relentless series of 13-10 games. (UNDER!) It's a marathon, not a sprint.”
Peter King, SI.com: “The more we learn about the read-option, the more interesting it becomes. A fad? Maybe . . . Maybe when quarterbacks get beat up a few times outside the pocket, coordinators will have second thoughts about using the scheme. But I don’t think Washington is going to handle Robert Griffin III much differently this season—except to emphasize over and over and over the importance of sliding to avoid direct hits, and running out of bounds instead of lowering a shoulder to pick up two or three extra yards. We’ll see if Griffin can play that way. He’s saying all the right things now about avoiding contact, but we’re not in the middle of a pennant race, nor is it the fourth quarter when he desperately needs a first down.”
Norman Chad, Washington Post: “What’s not to like about Tony Romo? He looks as if he’s having fun playing the game and he owns up to his mistakes, then he goes home and, in all likelihood, gazes into the mirror and tells himself, 'I’m great-looking and I’ve got a great-looking wife.' It’s a pretty good life, especially if he ignores the baying wolves on his front lawn criticizing his every flaw.”
Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com: “Michigan-Notre Dame . . . becomes the latest victim of that realignment, an unintended consequence of the league hopscotch that cost TV rights-holders millions of dollars in renegotiated deals and the commissioner/puppeteers who directed it, some of their dignity. Already gone, if you haven't noticed, are Oklahoma-Nebraska, Texas-Texas A&M and Missouri-Kansas. There are no immediate plans for Miami and Florida to meet again after Saturday's game at Sun Life Stadium. From 1983 through 2008, those schools met 10 times and combined to win eight national championships. There are others but the fact remains those rivalries have been tossed aside like fast-food wrappers on the highway to realignment.”
Michael Weinreb, Sports on Earth: “There was a time, before the era of multiplying Jerry-Jonesified Kickoff Classics, when Michigan and Notre Dame was one of the few things that actually mattered in Week 1 of the regular season. From 1988-1994, they played seven times early in the season, and in no year was either team ranked lower than 13th in the polls, and five times, both teams were ranked in the top 10. Only one of those games was decided by more than five points; one ended in a tie. There were Heisman winners and Heisman should-have-beens, and there were game-winning field goals, and there were running backs being knocked unconscious at the end of spectacular touchdown runs, and there were near-brawls.”
Pete Fiutak, College Football News: “Florida State has fallen into the Mack Brown-Texas category. Yes, everything has been in place to be national title good over the last few years, but few have done less with more than Jimbo Fisher. The ACC championship and Orange Bowl win were nice, but the talent and ability have been there to do more. It’s a two game season against Clemson and Florida, and they’re both on the road. However, the showdown against the Tigers doesn’t come until October 19th, and the clash with the Gators is at the end of the regular season. The young Noles will be fully matured to work around Jameis Winston, who’s already being handed the Heisman.”
“That's a sweet way to start a season. You get ahead throwing that many touchdowns. I mean, shoot, he's almost halfway to 20 already.”
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, on Manning’s outburst.