What was once the house that Peyton built has turned into a house of horrors for the five-time league MVP since leaving Indianapolis. Including playoffs, Manning is 1-3 against the Colts since moving to Denver, and is 0-2 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Sunday was supposed to be the day Manning returned to Indianapolis, became the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader, and coasted to an easy victory against a bad Colts team. Instead, Manning went 21-of-36 for 281 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, falling three yards short of Favre’s record.
“It was a road game, playing against a team that played well today,” Manning said. “We just didn’t play well enough.
The Broncos opened the game flatter than a pancake, falling behind 17-0 as the first half came to a close. An Omar Bolden punt returned for a touchdown to end the half sparked a furious comeback that brought the Broncos back to tie the game at 17 and eventually take it to a 24-24 tie.
A Broncos defense that was able to symie Aaron Rodgers last week and keep him in the pocket, was unable to duplicate the results againt Andrew Luck. Luck rushed for 34 yards and was particularly deadly with his legs on third down.
However, following a Colts field goal, a poorly-timed Manning interception made it tough on Denver’s defense, as they continued to fall behind in time of possession.
Worn down and tired, Aqib Talib did his best to land a part in the next Three Stooges movie, poking colts tight end Dwayne Allen in the eye, earning a 15-yard personal foul, and costing Peyton Manning another opportunity to win the game at the end.
Many felt the Broncos were walking into a trap game, but tight end Owen Daniels disagrees.
“This is the NFL, everyone’s good,” Daniels told CBS4’s Mark Haas after the game. “You can make any excuse you want to, it was just us not executing.”
While Talib’s eye-opening penalty will generate most of the conversation during the week, the Broncos failed to match Indianapolis’ energy early in the game, which head coach Gary Kubiak said ultimately cost them.
“We dug ourselves a hole and just weren’t able to climb out of it.”