It’s easy to sit back and start picking favorites to win the Super Bowl because the NFL season just started and there was a huge blowout game against the defending Super Bowl champions. Many people will say the Broncos are the team to beat and this is just a sign of what’s to come, others say it’s just week 1 and don’t start handing them any trophies because teams will adjust and anything can happen during the course of the season. With all of that aside, my person thought on what I witnessed last night was the performance from Peyton Manning was arguably one of the best I’ve ever seen. It was one for the ages that come around once or twice during a lifetime. It was pure joy to watch and I was glued to every snap he called because I was in awe of what I watching before me.
Peyton commands the field like a general. He navigates his troops through treacherous trenches of throngs of thunderous warriors to find victory at the end of each battle. His passion for precision and gamesmanship makes him perform at a higher level than every one else on the field, and it shows. His 7 touchdown performance ties the all time record and was last done almost a half of century ago. The last time a quarterback put up 7 touchdowns in a game, Nixon was in office and the US was putting a man on the moon. It was a really long time ago and it probably won’t be done for a really long time after it. For those that watched the game, be glad you did. Even though it was ‘only’ the first game of the year, it doesn’t matter because the events of the game made it a truly special night.
In terms of fantasy football, there was some interesting revelations last night. I’m sure many people went to the wire to see if the tight end Julius Thomas was available. Most likely he was because he was only owned in a small percentage of leagues and flew under the radar for the most part, until last night. Will this mean a bigger role for him and more targets, most likely yes. Peyton love to go to the TE and even when he had two with the colts, both were seeing some good targets. Last night, Thomas saw 7 targets and hauled in 5 of those for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. It looks like he will be a good TE option given the low depth in that position and for most teams he could be a boost to the squad.
On the other side of the ball, Dallas Clark was targeted more then any other receiver in the game with 12 targets. He was able to catch 7 of them for 87 yards, but it could have been more as he dropped a for sure touchdown. He looked a little off at times, but clearly the Ravens need him and will be looking for him. With 12 targets in the game, it was clear that they were comfortable going his way and that trend will most likely continue. I would say he is going to be a solid tight end this year and should be back to his top 10 performances. If he is available in most leagues, and you are sitting with a bottom tier tight end, then I would be looking to draft with Thomas or Clark.
The ball carrying situation looks dismal for the Broncos. I wouldn’t want to own any of them at this time, but I was surprised to see Knowshon Moreno get the start and do so well. It looks like until Ball or Hillman can get up to speed with Mannings play calling, Moreno should see the field more and get more opportunities. With that said, all 3 running backs go work in different series and they all produced about the same average yards with Hillman having the best numbers.
Other games notes include the injury to Jacoby Jones, which happened early in the game and he didn’t return. It doesn’t look serious, but he might miss a game or two because it appears to be a knee sprain. Marlon Brown came on for Jones and had 5 catches including a touchdown. There might be some expectation to pick him, but I wouldn’t at this time because Jones is the clear option here and will return quickly. Welker was outstanding and looks like he has been playing with Manning for years. He also returned a couple of balls which gives him an added boost in leagues that gives those points. Brandon Stokely was targeted 10 times in the game, but only caught 4 of those passes. Not sure how many chances he’ll get like that, but most likely it was due to the injury to Jones so I wouldn’t count him as a fantasy option just yet.