Randy Smith: Manning Pure And Perfect As Broncos Rout Ravens

Friday, September 06, 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).


SEC Network Debuts Aug. 14 On EPB Fiber Optics

The premier of ESPN’s newest addition, the SEC Network, will debut Aug. 14 on EPB Fiber Optics. Officials said, "The SEC Network is the all-access pass to the Southeastern Conference. It will be available to Fi TV Silver and Gold subscribers at no additional cost on channel 32, and channel 332 HD for Fi TV Gold subscribers with high definition service. "The SEC Network will ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Club Off To National Championship Game

The Chattanooga Football Club men's soccer team began their trek to Red Bull Arena on Friday. The team is playing in the NPSL National Championship game which is scheduled to kick off Saturday night after the 7 p.m. MLS game.  Chattanooga takes on undefeated Red Bulls u23 team.    Chattanooga FC supporters pushed for the game to be in Chattanooga after drawing ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Stops Erlanger Foreclosure Of Hutcheson Hospital

In a ruling Friday, a Federal Court Judge in Rome agreed with Hutcheson Medical Center and Regions Bank to grant the request for an injunction, effectively stopping the foreclosure efforts of Erlanger Health System against Hutcheson. In stopping the foreclosure set for next Tuesday, the judge held that the public interest in keeping the hospital doors open was “insurmountable.”  ... (click for more)

Mediated Resolution Reached In TVA Kingston Lawsuits

A mediated global resolution has been achieved in 63 lawsuits pending in U.S. District Court involving more than 850 plaintiffs asserting claims against the Tennessee Valley Authority arising from the 2008 ash spill at Kingston Fossil Plant. The resolution, outlined in documents submitted Friday to the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, comes after nearly two years of ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s ... (click for more)