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Videos: Bronco Peyton Manning's march to Super Bowl intercepted by Falcons

Categories: Sports, Videos

peyton manning press conference falcons september 17 2012.jpg
Videos below.
Peyton Manning's amazing Denver debut versus the Steelers got citizens of Broncos Nation ahead of themselves. As PM demonstrated in spectacularly shocking fashion during quarter number one of last night's 27-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, he's far from rust-free. But despite those three picks in a single quarter (barely half of one, actually), Manning's performance offers reason for hope. Really.

The Broncos offense that took the field at the outset of Monday's contest looked frantic, panicky, as if fearful that only an early lead would quiet the Georgia Dome crowd. Despite Manning's post-game comments following the Steelers triumph about not wanting to over-rely on the hurry-up, the squad opened with the no huddle, leading to this jaw-dropping sequence: incomplete short pass to Demaryius Thomas, a Willis McGahee non-run for a two-yard loss and a Jacob Tamme-intended heave into coverage that resulted in an Orlando Franklin interception, returned to Denver's friggin' one-yard line. Result: Atlanta touchdown.

mike nolan falcons.jpg
Mike Nolan.
The next Broncos possession went pretty much the same way, with another over-the-middle chuck for Tamme winding up in the hands of an Atlanta defender, this time Thomas DeCloud. Hence, a Falcons field goal -- so Manning switched things around. Next time he went deep, he aimed for Brandon Stokely, not Tamme. Not that it helped: The Falcons' Robert McClain caught that one.

Wh'appen? Manning, the premier defense reader in NFL history, seemed not to see the assorted moving parts of the Falcons secondary, especially at the outset. Commentator Jon Gruden gave the credit to Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who's seen in some quarters as a pigskin genius, although he never seems to stick with a team for very long; recall that he lasted just one season in that position with the Broncos, during the discredited Josh McDaniels period. But whatever the case, Peyton seemed discombobulated -- sort of like a guy who's barely played in a year....

And yet Manning proved he still has the competitive steel that will make him a first ballot Hall of Famer. Despite a 20-0 deficit in the first half, he kept coming, engineering a scoring drive as time expired in the second quarter, with the score coming courtesy of a brilliant Thomas toe-scrape. And when the Falcons got ultra-conservative late, he took advantage, narrowing the deficit to just six points before the Broncos succumbed to the inevitable.

No, it wasn't a Tim Tebow-like comeback. But never did it seem as if Denver was out of it, despite the three-score hole and Manning's early catastrophes. Even when he's not at his best -- and man, he definitely wasn't at the outset last night -- he offers the constant hope for, and threat of, redemption. That's something even The Chosen One can understand.

Look below to see four videos: a collection of Manning's three picks, an on-field dust-up that showed once again that the replacement referees are in over their head (they had a terrible, if not game-changing, night), Peyton's press conference post-mortem, and an ESPN discussion of what went down.

More from our Sports archive: "Peyton Manning does to Steelers what he used to do to Broncos."


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12 comments
Brandon Boggess
Brandon Boggess

For one he threw 3 interceptions secondly he is already lot better than John elway. To the tune of 100 td passes. Relax... If any of our qbs since Elway would have been in the same place we lose by at least 20. Look at last year.

Cody Hill
Cody Hill

Hahahahahahahaha I knew everyone would be pissed cuz manning is "supposed" to bring the donkeys to the super bowl. I'm waiting to see how many games it takes to loose till ya start blaming manning

John Sullivan
John Sullivan

I too still believe, I think we are going to have games like that, it is unrealistic for anyone to believe that manning can come from where he came from less then 7 months ago and pick right up where Elway left off. I mean, come on.. Really, did anyone expect him to not ever have a bad game? Did anyone expect him to have that much time off and lead us to a Super Bowl victory with 16 regular season wins his first year in the much coveted Orange and Blue? ? Are we a much better team for having him? Hell yes we are. It could still be the Griese or the Plummer era. I'll take him! We could still have Quitler. Nay sayers, find a different team to support...

Aaron LeForce
Aaron LeForce

4 turnovers in the first 5 minutes and only lost by 6...I am feeling damn good. Any other QB would not of gotten back in the game. Teblow would of gotten crushed. Broncos are definitely going to the super bowl this year!

Kellie Petras
Kellie Petras

Blah blah blah if it was any other qb everyon would be blaming him. Who cares that its manning? Hes not that precious people. should nave never gotten rid of Bradley Van Pelt!

Sarah Colfax Murphy
Sarah Colfax Murphy

It's the second game. Omfg. It's a new qb, who in case you forgot, is Peyton.Fucking.Manning..not blaming the refs, but it'll be nice to have the real ones back, so stop crying for Tebow, and blaming PFM, let's work out the kinks, and move forward!!!!!!

Annette Hall
Annette Hall

Nope, should have kept tebow as the backup!

Zack Lewis
Zack Lewis

Shut your mouth with all that are you sure... its Peyton friggin Manning.... not Jake Plummer

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