Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is known for his ability to make a defense pay a with just one amazing touchdown pass.
Manning preferred to take his time against the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game on Sunday.
Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker have big-play potential, but Manning elected to slowly march his team down the field during two touchdown drives. It was methodical, systematic, precise, and showed how versatile Manning can be if necessary.
Denver’s first scoring drive was 15 plays, covered 93 yards and lasted 7:01 in the second quarter. Manning completed only four passes during that drive, while running backs Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball carried the Broncos offensively.
Denver’s second touchdown drive was arguably more impressive.
Thomas’ 3-yard touchdown reception at the beginning of the third quarter capped off a 13-play, 80-yard drive that lasted 7:08. It was Denver’s longest drive of the season. The Broncos had the highest-scoring offense in NFL history but usually get in the end zone fast.
Denver’s offensive success should be attributed to its offensive line, which did not allow a sack against the San Diego Chargers last week and dominated the line of scrimmage versus New England.
Manning was rarely pressured through the first three quarters, while the offensive line created opportunities on the ground. It is arguably the best performance by Manning’s blockers this season.
The Broncos are capable of hitting big plays, but decided to take a patient approach against New England on Sunday.
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