We're not accepting any more nominations for the NFL's game of the year. Everyone is battling for second place now.
The Broncos' 51-48 win over the Cowboys was decided on the final play by a Matt Prater 28-yard field goal, and tied for the fourth-most points in a game in NFL history. The teams also tied for the second-highest scoring game in regulation since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, according to STATS, trailing only the Cincinnati Bengals' 58-48 win over the Cleveland Browns in 2004.
The Broncos' victory over the Cowboys was as thrilling a contest as you'll find on a NFL field, with both offenses executing at a ridiculous level.
And give the Broncos this: When their defense needed to make a play, it finally came through.
Denver's defense didn't make many plays against Dallas. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw for more than 506 yards and five touchdowns. Maybe a few Broncos weaknesses were exposed (though, when outside linebacker Von Miller and cornerback Champ Bailey return soon, they should fill those holes). But Peyton Manning kept Denver in the game and one great interception by linebacker Danny Trevathan stole the win.
Trevathan's interception off Romo at the 2-minute warning (poor Romo ... he threw for more than 500 yards but you know what the storyline will be) set up the Broncos for a game-winning field goal as time expired.
So if 48 points and more than 500 passing yards isn't enough to beat Manning and these Broncos, what will it take?
The game was tied when Trevathan dove and snatched a Romo pass intended for tight end Gavin Escobar at Dallas' 24-yard line. Manning handled the rest. He led the offense to a couple first downs, and the Broncos were able to run down the clock and set up a chip shot for Prater.
The Broncos' franchise record for points in a game was set when Denver scored 50 in 1963, and that record held for 50 years. Denver passed that record twice in the past eight days, first with 52 against Philadelphia last week, and with 51 on Sunday. Denver has scored 230 points in five games, an unfathomable 46 points per game.
Manning completed 33-of-42 passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns against Dallas. He finally threw his first interception this season, with a few seconds remaining in the third quarter, which was a bit stunning considering how perfect he has been. Manning is well on his way to another MVP, maybe the greatest single season in NFL history, and as he showed on Sunday, there might not be a team in the NFL with enough firepower on offense to outscore him and his Broncos team.
- - -
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Peyton Manning