Sep 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas (80) reacts with wide receiver Wes Welker (83) after scoring his second touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning put on a performance for the ages, and the Denver Broncos exacted their revenge for last year's heart- breaking loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.
Manning became the sixth player in NFL history to throw for seven touchdowns in a single game, as the Broncos spoiled the start of the reigning Super Bowl champion Ravens' title defense with a resounding 49-27 triumph Thursday in the season-opener for both teams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Five of Manning's touchdown tosses came in the second half, as Denver turned a three-point halftime deficit into a comfortable 25-point cushion by scoring 28 straight points to start the second half.
Manning finished 27-of-42 passing for 462 yards and joined Y.A. Tittle, Joe Kapp, George Blanda, Sid Luckman and Adrian Burk as the only players in NFL history to throw for seven scores in a game.
Wes Welker, Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas each hauled in two TDs for the reigning AFC West champion Broncos (1-0), who finished 13-3 last season and had the No. 1 seed in the AFC before being upended by the Ravens in the postseason.
Welker, a key free agent acquisition by Denver, finished with nine catches for 67 yards in his first game as a Bronco after spending the previous six seasons with rival New England.
Julius Thomas hauled in five passes for 110 yards, while Demaryius Thomas led all receivers with 161 yards on five grabs in the victory.
The defending champion Ravens have a much different look this season, with eight starters gone from last year's squad, including future Hall-of-Famer Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed and wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
The departures were evident on the defensive side of the ball, as the Ravens (0-1) allowed a franchise-record 49 points in their first game since their 34-31 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
Joe Flacco finished 34-of-62 passing for 362 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Ray Rice managed just 36 yards and a score on 12 carries for Baltimore, which went 10-6 in the regular season last year before running the table in the playoffs.
The Sports Network