The Denver Broncos hosted the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens to kick off the start of the 2013-14 NFL season at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos had revenge on their minds after losing in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs a season ago and they were able to have a perfect performance on offense to steamroll the Ravens, 49-27.
The 49 points allowed by the Ravens defense were the most in franchise history.
Baltimore and Denver started off in a back-and-forth even battle throughout the first-half, but that all changed when Peyton Manning and company came out for the final two quarters to ramp up their offense.
Manning led the Broncos to 21 points in the third-quarter, which allowed the team to begin pulling away.
The Broncos remained in control throughout the second half and they had a chance to put it away, but linebacker Danny Trevathan had a bone-headed move where he dropped the ball before the goal line in what could have been a pick-six. To be fair, it was just the first start of Trevathan’s career.
Right after the dumb move by the young Broncos linebacker, the Ravens drove right down the field for a touchdown to give us a tighter game with just over ten minutes to go.
Denver took the field with another chance to put away the game, but a three-and-out made the game very interesting.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, a promising drive came to an end with a 30-yard field goal attempt that Justin Tucker nailed through the uprights. It was a score for the Ravens, but they still needed two scores with just under six minutes to go.
Baltimore chose to kick it deep and put some confidence in their defense, but the move didn’t pay off after the Broncos executed a perfect wide receiver screen to Demaryius Thomas that went 78-yards for a touchdown. That was the icing on the cake.
It was Manning’s seventh touchdown pass of the game, which tied an NFL record.
The record ties Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp as the only players in NFL history to hit seven touchdowns. The last time the mark was hit came in 1969. Tittle was the only player to reach seven touchdowns without recording an interception.
It was a great start to Manning’s potential MVP campaign.
The Ravens never gave up, but they didn’t have enough time or offensive firepower to catch up as time ran out.
For the Broncos, revenge was had and the team got their season off to the kind of start they were hoping for.