The first week of regular season was very much like the last week of preseason for Peyton Manning. While he may not have blazed up the field at the start of the game, he was steady and there wasn’t a mistake to be seen. As the game went on though, fans were happy to see their champion back in true form; and Manning was pretty please with himself, too.
“Obviously it feels good,” says Manning after a terrible injury kept him from playing at all last year; and a dramatic off-season had him going back and forth across the country while he determined which team he would play for. “It’s just one game and you try to keep it in perspective. But I know how hard I’ve worked to get to this point.”
And that hard work showed. Manning finished 19 of 26 for 245 yards, and he added two touchdowns on top of that. One of those was the 400th of his career, a milestone that only Brett Favre and Dan Marino have achieved in the past.
But while Manning went down in the record books, the Pittsburgh Steelers were falling apart. Ben Roethlisberger may have finished 22 of 40 for 245 yards with two touchdowns to boot; but he also threw an interception and was sacked five times. Pittsburgh had a real chance to take the game after Roethlisberger tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace. But again, Petyon was there.
After a game review showed that Eric Decker lost the ball after it had already hit the ground, Manning stepped in. He led his offensive team on yet another touchdown drive, their third of the night; and passed another scoring pass to Jacob Tamme. With another two-point conversion to Willis McGahee, Manning helped his team go up 22- 19 with less than 10 minutes left. From there on in, it was Manning and the Broncos all the way to the final score of 31 — 19.