Manning throws 7 TD’s, Broncos top Ravens on opening night

DENVER (AP) — Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos waited eight long months, then another 33 minutes, to get the season started.

A record-tying seven touchdown passes – something no one had done in 44 years – made it worth the while.

Connecting with his most prized addition, Wes Welker, former college basketball player Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas for two TDs each, Manning directed Denver to a 49-27 victory over the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night in the NFL opener, a much-anticipated rematch against the team that ended the Broncos’ playoff run in January.

Manning is the sixth QB in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game and the first since Joe Kapp did it for Minnesota against Baltimore on Sept. 28, 1969.

Manning was 27 of 42 for 462 yards with seven TDs and no interceptions.

All part of a thorough thrashing of the team that put a harsh end to what had looked like a Super Bowl-bound 2012 in Denver. The rematch came nearly eight months after Baltimore beat Denver 38-35 in double overtime on an icy January night in the same stadium.

The Broncos waited all offseason for the rematch, then for 33 minutes more when a lightning storm in the area delayed the start.

When they took the field, it was clear how much had changed.

Pass rusher Elvis Dumervil moved from Denver to Baltimore as part of a bizarre, fax-infused contract squabble. Receiver Brandon Stokley also switched sides. The Broncos lost their best defender, Von Miller, to a drug suspension while Baltimore had to rebuild its `D’ after losing emotional leaders Ed Reed and Ray Lewis.

The Ravens suffered another loss of sorts when they were forced to play the season’s traditional opener on the road because of a conflict with the Orioles in Baltimore. The NFL hung a Flacco banner above Denver’s stadium, but he hardly felt at home.

Armed with a new six-year, $120.6 million contract, he matched the Broncos score for score in the first half but had to play catch-up after falling behind 35-17 early in the third quarter. His final numbers: 34 of 62 for 362 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.

Manning’s seventh TD covered only a few yards in the air but Demaryius Thomas hauled in the pass in the left flat and turned on the jets, racing past several gassed defenders for a 78-yard touchdown that capped the scoring.

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Viking men fall to Hawai’i Pacific

WWU logo

Hawai'i Pacific closed out the game scoring the final 6 points to secure the 82-76 victory for its third consecutive win and improve to 3-2 on the season.

in Local Sports

Strong aerial attack lifts Seattle past Pittsburgh

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) celebrates after scoring on a 63-yard touchdown reception next to wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Carolina Panthers in Seattle, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015.

Jermaine Kearse caught two touchdowns, while Doug Baldwin caught three, including an 80-yard catch-and-run score with 2:01 left after Pittsburgh had trimmed Seattle's lead to 32-30.

in Local Sports

Jimmy Graham suffers patellar tendon injury in win over Pittsburgh


Graham was hurt with 13:36 left in the fourth quarter after trying to grab a deep pass in the end zone from Russell Wilson.

in Sports

Kobe Bryant says he will retire at end of 2015-16 season

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, left, talks with head coach Byron Scott, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in San Antonio. Los Angeles won 112-110.

The 37-year-old Bryant made the announcement in a post on The Players' Tribune on Sunday

in Sports

Heat check: College coaching carousel turns into roller coaster

LSU head coach Les Miles watches from the sideline in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Florida in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. LSU won 17-6.

This coaching carousel is more like a roller coaster and this weekend there was enough action to make those trying to keep up dizzy.