Randy Smith: Manning Pure And Perfect As Broncos Rout Ravens

Friday, September 6, 2013 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

If there were still any doubters out there about Peyton Manning’s ability to throw a football, they have likely all disappeared after a season opening 49-27 win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. It was a pure Manning performance; an NFL record-tying seven touchdown passes, 462 yards passing, with no interceptions. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw six or more TD passes in a game three times, and his quarterback rating was an unbelievable 141.1.

The great night for Manning and his teammates came after the game was delayed almost 45 minutes due to lightning in the Denver area. The Broncos seemed to struggle a bit early, as they were forced to punt the first three times they had the football. When the Broncos finally got going, the Ravens simply could not stop them. Manning threw a pair of TD passes to three different receivers. Newcomer Wes Welker caught a couple as did tight end Julius Thomas, and wide-out Demaryius Thomas. Andre Caldwell caught the other.

“It was an awesome night,” Manning said after the game. “Our offensive line did a heck of a job against a great pass rush, gave me good time.”

The Ravens actually led 17-14 at halftime, but Denver outscored the world champs 35-10 in the second half as they put their stamp firmly on the role of Super Bowl favorite for the 2013 season. For Peyton Manning, the win over the Ravens avenged the loss to Baltimore in the AFC playoffs eight months ago. The Ravens scored an upset win in Denver back in January ending the Broncos season on their way to a Super Bowl title. That loss was one that Manning took personally.

Everyone wondered how he could continue to play football, after sitting out the entire 2011 season with a serious neck injury. He was 36 years old at the time and several months prior to the 2012 season, his old team, the Indianapolis Colts gave him his release. The Broncos won perhaps the largest free-agent bidding war in NFL history, and Manning made the Denver front office look like geniuses. He passed for more than 4,000 yards with 37 TD passes, narrowly missing his fifth NFL Most Valuable Player award. He followed up a great 2012 season with an even greater opening night for 2013.

“He’s phenomenal,” receiver Julius Thomas said. “To continue to come out every year and put that kind of performance on for us is amazing.”

Manning’s coach, John Fox also was singing his praises. “Peyton had an amazing night. Peyton’s had a lot of amazing nights.”

In years past, I would have stayed up as long as it took to watch a game like that on television. I decided at halftime, even with the Broncos trailing 17-14, that everything was under control. “Peyton’s got this,” I said to myself. I rolled over and went to sleep, knowing full well that Peyton and the Broncos could handle the Ravens without my help. Man…..did they ever!

rsmithsports@comcast.net

---

Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).


Lookouts Bounce Back Wednesday With 9-3 Win Over Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Chattanooga Lookouts broke a 3-3 tie with a five-run seventh inning on the way to a 9-3 win over the Jacksonville Suns in front of 3,154 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Wednesday night. After falling to Jacksonville Tuesday, Chattanooga bounced back with a big win Wednesday. The win moved the Lookouts to just four games behind division leading ... (click for more)

Covenant Women Announce 2016-17 Basketball Schedule

The Covenant women's basketball team, under fourth-year head coach Sarah Harris, has announced its schedule for the 2016-17 season. The Scots will play 24 regular season games, including 14 USA South games and 10 non-league contests. Covenant, which went 10-15 in 2015-16, opens the year at home on Nov. 15 against regional foe Sewanee at 5:30 p.m., inside Barnes Physical Education ... (click for more)

Jury Awards 25 City Police Personnel Total Of $562,000 On Claims That Pay Plan Was Not Followed

A Chancery Court jury on Wednesday gave a verdict totaling $562,000 for 25 city police personnel who filed suit almost five years ago alleging that the city never lived up to terms of a 2010 pay plan. Attorney Stevie Phillips, who tried the case along with Janie Parks Varnell, said, "The jury awarded each officer what we had asked for to the penny." She stated, "These 25 members ... (click for more)

TDEC Defends Its Operation Of Septic Permit Office In Bradley County; Backs Hank Thompson

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) defended the operation of its septic permit office in Bradley County, including the work of manager Hank Thompson. The Bradley County Commission is studying whether to take over the operation of the office, saying there have been a number of complaints against Mr. Thompson and that he recently kicked Commissioner ... (click for more)

Alexander Should Do Something About The Affordable Health Care Act Price Increase - And Response (3)

Re:  Alexander's remarks about Tennesseans not affording "Affordable Health Care Act" prices Mr. Alexander,  Your message stated, Tennesseans can't afford a 44 percent to 62 percent increase in the Affordable Care prices.  I simply ask, as Senate Health Committee chairman, why don't you do something about it?  Don't tell us something most know already.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)