Tonight, it was vintage Peyton.
After much hype and build-up, in his first game back in over a year after neck surgery – and his first as quarterback of the Broncos – Peyton Manning looked like the Peyton of old in leading Denver to an impressive 31-19 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Manning looked in complete control of the offense, directing the show in the no-huddle, and going 19 of 26 for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns … including the 400th (and 401st) TD of his career, becoming only the third player in NFL history to do so (Favre, Marino). To secure the win, Manning had to lead the Broncos back from a 19-14 deficit early in the 4th quarter, and did so with ruthless efficiency, including a 71-yard pitch and catch to Demaryius Thomas that put Denver ahead for good.
During last night’s Cardinals-Broncos pre-season game, rookie wide receiver Michael Floyd made a play that would be in contention for catch of the year, had happened in the regular season.
Early in the 2nd quarter, Floyd lept in the endzone between a pair of Broncos defenders – tipping the ball to himself while getting drilled – to come down with the circus catch from QB Ryan Lindley. Watch it below in GIF format, so you can see exactly how it happens over and over again:
GIF AND VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In the words of Bart Scott , I genuinely CAN’T WAIT to hear Rex Ryan explain their thinking on this one. Let the Big Apple circus commence!!!
Before all you Jets fans out there go and purchase your new Tim Tebow jerseys, you might want to wait for the deal for the Broncos QB to actually be finalized.
It seems that the trade between the Jets and Broncos that would send Tebow (and a 7th round pick) to New York in exchange for a 4th and 6th round pick has hit a snag.
And despite the fact that the Jets announced the deal on their Twitter page (which is still up at the time of this posting), they apparently didn’t really read Tebow’s contract before agreeing to the terms. And now they’re contesting a clause that would require NY to pay back $5 million in advance salaries from his rookie contract in Denver.
If this deal doesn’t end up going through, the Jets are going to end up looking really, really stupid.
John Elway dangled a tasty carrot and the former Colt bit.
Peyton Manning, arguably the greatest free agent of all time, has chosen the Denver Broncos as team he will ride into the Hall of Fame. The Broncos will now be the hottest team in the league this offseason, and billions of eyeballs will be glued to Mile High Manning this autumn. Elway lured Manning by promising to build players around him, and by letting him run his own offense in Denver, which should easily make the Broncos the team to beat in the AFC West. And with a 5-year, $96 million dollar contract, it seems clear that the Broncos and their team of doctors believe Manning is healthy, ready to play, and capable of making a run at the Super Bowl for the next half-decade.
As a lifelong Broncos fan, I can’t help but be excited about adding an all-world player to the squad. Especially a cerebral quarterback like Manning who is one of smartest to ever play the position. But immediately after the shock of the ‘Manning to Denver’ news set in, many of us in Bronco Country asked the obvious question … what about Tim Tebow? What about last season? Timmy’s magical run, winning 7 of 8 games and leading the Broncos to a thrilling OT playoff win at home against the Steelers. Tebow’s 80 yard “Tebomb” to Demaryius Thomas was by far the most exciting play by any Bronco since Elway’s “helicopter” in Super Bowl XXXII. Every single Broncos fan enjoyed that season, whether they approved of Tebow or not, and Denver seemed to be headed towards next season with notable momentum. It was truly spectacular, and many fans thought we had something special.
But now – almost unthinkably after you grasp what he did last season – the Broncos will show Tebow the door and welcome 36-year-old Manning to the team. Some Broncos fans and all of Tebow’s faithful feel betrayed, but the fact of the matter is simple: John Elway was never sold on Tim Tebow. He didn’t draft him, didn’t want him as the future of the team, and frankly, he didn’t believe in him. The ironic part for Elway was that Tebow went out last season and made A LOT of other people a believer. Not just Broncos fans, but sports fans all over the planet (as we witnessed with Tebow-mania) were hailing Tebow as the savior of the franchise. But Elway still wouldn’t publically give him the loving security fans thought he had earned. Now it makes since why Elway never backed him, because deep down he knew that Tim wasn’t his guy. He didn’t want to commit. Yet Tebow’s surprising success meant Elway was stuck with him, at least for this upcoming season, if not more if Tim kept winning. There was nothing Elway could do but wait it out and see if Tebow succeeded or failed.
Lucky for Elway, the QB Gods work in strange ways, and they sent Manning into free agency this off season… and it didn’t take long for the Broncos VP to connect the dots. Manning is only QB on the market that Elway can immediately swap for Tebow without disgruntling the Denver fanbase. This is the only logical way Elway can divorce the Broncos from Tebow in a way that looks like he’s making the right move, the smart move. He is choosing proven over potential, and you can’t really argue with that. Tebow did wonderful things for the Broncos last year, but Elway saw a way to get rid of him without being the villain and jumped at the opportunity.
Yup … pretty much. Except replace “me” with “the Broncos”, since Timmy probably won’t be sticking around for whatever happens next in Denver.
And there you have it. After several weeks of furious speculation, Peyton Manning has chosen the Denver Broncos as his next team, and is finalizing his contract - reported to be worth $95 million over 5 years – with the team as we speak.
This of course means that Peyton-mania will quickly replace Tebow-mania in the Rocky Mountain state, and that John Elway has pulled off the coup of the century by figuring out the only way he could shed Tebow from his roster without sending Broncos fans everywhere into revolt. Word on the street is that Denver will shop Tebow around for trade offers, and hope to get something fair in return from someone like Jacksonville or Miami. And while the jury is still out on the status of Manning’s neck injury, the Broncos medical staff apparently saw enough progress to make it worth the risk.
The addition of Manning immediately makes Denver Super Bowl contenders, improves their already-stellar defense, and makes the Broncos more attractive to potential free agents. And in just a year and a half as VP of football operations, Elway has managed to reverse the mess left behind by Josh McDaniels and right the ship for the Broncos franchise. It’s quite impressive, really.
And yeah, we’re guessing Demaryius Thomas is probably a pretty happy camper right now.
While the entire world seems to be gripped by Tebowmania (as evidenced by ESPN’s Tebow Hour and the latest, now-ubiquitous “Tebowie” skit by Jimmy Fallon), there are a few other quarterbacks with super bowl rings who will also be competing in the NFL’s divisional playoffs. Brady, Brees, Rodgers and Manning - you may have heard of them – will each take the field this weekend to try and lead their teams to the conference championships, despite being overshadowed in the media by their Jesus-loving Denver counterpart. And all of them are much better QBs than Tebow, by the way.
After jumping out to an early 3-1 lead with his Wild Card picks, The DarkHorse will try to keep it going for the Divisional round. Here are this weekend’s picks from R&R HQ (CLICK TO EMBIGGEN):
So, it seems our “experts” are split down the middle on the 49ers-Saints and Packers-Giants, while Artie is the only brave soul to ride the Tebow Centaurs to the promised land over New England, and steverodgers is the only one who likes the Texans over Baltimore.
Surprisingly, all of our super bowl picks are still alive, but that’s going to change on Sunday, when either the Packers or Giants will be sent packing. As always, these picks are purely for entertainment purposes … we are mediocre at this on our good days, so feel free to share your picks and mock us in the comments.
When Tim Tebow and the Broncos upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in their wild card playoff match-up last Sunday, most people theorized that divine intervention had a something to do with it. But true football fans understood that it was actually the arrogance of coordinator Dick LeBeau and the Steelers defense – who stacked the box all day and challenged Denver to throw the ball downfield – that allowed Tebow to pass for 316 yards and 2 TDs (including 204 yards to Demaryius Thomas), and knock the defending AFC champs off their throne.
As usual, the NFL Films crew was on hand in Denver to capturing all the sights and sounds from the game for their super-awesome SoundFX program. For this contest, they had Ben Roethlisberger and Elvis Dumervil mic’d up, along with countless parabolic mics roaming the sideline to pick up all the extra-curriculars. So enjoy as we get to watch the action unfold through the eyes of the players and coaches on the field, in what will already go down as a game for the ages:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
On the heels of Sunday’s “Mile High Miracle”, the Tim Tebow photos, highlights, and most importantly, GIFs are everywhere this week as everyone’s favorite Jesus freak continues to make believers out of us all and dominate the national conversation.
So, without further adieu, here are the best Tebow GIFs from the Broncos playoff victory over the Steelers … enjoy!
- Timmy is FIRED UP!
- TIMMY SMASH!
- John Elway has seen the light!
MORE GIFs AFTER THE JUMP
Pretty much every “expert” in the media had written off Tim Tebow and the Broncos heading into this weekend’s Wild Card match-up against the the heavily favored Steelers. And for good reason. The magic seemed to have run out for Tebow and Denver, having lost their last three games in ugly fashion and backed their way into the playoffs, with Tebow’s fabled mystique noticeably deteriorating toward the end of the season.
Today, in an ironic role reversal, Tebow and the Broncos found themselves ahead early and having to fight off a furious comeback attempt by Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Tebow threw for one 2nd quarter score on a 30 yard bullet to Eddie Royal and ran for another to give Denver a 20-6 halftime lead. But Roethlisberger rallied Pittsburgh in the second half, tying the game on a 31-yard strike to Jericho Cotchery with just under 4 minutes remaining and sending things to overtime.
Then came “Tebow Time”: with the Broncos’ season on the line, Timmy did what he does best and came up with a huge play when it mattered most. On the very first play of overtime, Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas in stride at the 40 yard line for an 80-yard walk-off touchdown, giving Denver a stunning 29-23 victory:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP