With Peyton Manning ravaging the pooch and getting intercepted by Baltimore cornerback Corey Graham on the second possession of overtime, the top seeded Broncos lost to the underdog Ravens 38-35 in 13-degree weather on Saturday night at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado.
“Yeah, bad throw,” said Manning, 36, who tossed 37 touchdowns, in contrast to 11 picks, for 4,659 yards this past autumn. “Probably the decision wasn’t great either. I thought I had an opening, and I didn’t get enough on it, and I was trying to make a play and certainly a throw I’d like to have back.”
Manning, an 11-time Pro-Bowler who the Indianapolis Colts took out of the University of Tennessee with the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, signed a five-year contract worth in excess of $96 million to play in Denver last March.
The four-time AP NFL MVP, who led Indianapolis to ultimate glory over the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI, was forced to miss the entire 2011 campaign after having an alarming four neck surgeries in 19 months.
Despite suffering a fusion of two vertebrae and undergoing the knife on four separate occasions to continue playing a collision sport, Manning absolutely thrived as a Bronco.
Despite throwing like a glorified version of Corky Thatcher, Tebow, the winner of the 2007 Heisman Trophy, led Denver to a 7-4 record under center and propelled the team to a stunning 29-23 victory in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs last January.
Tebow, who the Broncos chose out of the University of Florida with the 25th overall pick in the 2010 draft, became expendable the instant Manning agreed to play in “The Mile-High City.”
The famed Gator, a lefty who completed a putrid 46.5 percent of his 271 pass attempts in 2011, is a polarizing presence whose overwhelming godliness, and lack of conventional abilities, has made him an extremely controversial figure.
Regardless, thanks to an inept pass by the five-time First-Team All-Pro, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning were ultimately equal kings performing in the “Queen City of the West.”by