In Thursday night’s match-up between divisional rivals Kansas City and Denver, Peyton Manning surpassed 70,000 passing yards, making him the 2nd quarterback in NFL history to reach this benchmark.
The only other quarterback to reach 70,000 career-passing yards is Brett Favre. On the night Peyton Manning was 26 for 45 for 256 yards, 3 touchdown passes, and 1 interception to come up with the win against the Chiefs 31-24.
Despite what looks like a successful night from Manning overall, the match started off on a much more sour note. Nothing seemed to be connecting on either side of the field for both the Broncos and the Chiefs leading to a scoreless first quarter. Not usually the outcome expected in such a highly anticipated rivalry game, especially from two highly capable offenses.
Kansas City finally broke the deadlocked score putting up seven points off of a Jamaal Charles 34 yard run and an extra point by Cairo Santos. Down by 7, Manning leads a drive up the field to tie up the score but on a 3rd and 3 at the 50 yard line he throws his second Pick-Six of the season to Kansas City’s Marcus Peters for a 55 yard return widening the gap another 7 points.
Up until this point Manning’s throws seemed weak, his age really showing in the wobbly and off course trajectories to his receivers. Under pressure to keep the game within reach, Peyton reassured Bronco’s fans with a long drive ending in a TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders, who proved to be Manning’s go-to man for the remainder of the night. Sanders had 8 receptions for 87 yards and 2 touchdowns in Thursday’s game.
Ten seconds following the Bronco’s touchdown drive, Alex Smith threw an interception to Denver’s Aqib Talib. Manning was able to convert the interception opportunity for a touchdown with a 1 yard pass to Virgil Green after a 4 play, 15 yard drive to tie the score before the half.
The third quarter saw much less fruitless action, with both teams settling for a field goal each setting up an even playing field to start the fourth quarter. Not until late in the fourth was there a scoring play that put the Chiefs up, leaving Manning and the Broncos with a little over 2 minutes to score again. With a march up the field that showcased a calm, cool, and collected Peyton Manning, the Broncos were able to knock almost a full 2 minutes off of the board and tie the game with Sanders’ second TD reception from Manning.
As viewers prepared for an overtime game, Bradley Roby picked up a Kansas City fumble for a 21-yard return resulting in the game-clinching touchdown for the Broncos. After scoring 2 touchdowns in 9 seconds the Bronco’s defense ended game play by sacking Alex Smith.