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Don't mess with The Sheriff

Broncos teammates appreciate Peyton Manning's outburst against Texans safety D.J. Swearinger, who laid a low hit on Wes Welker and sent the slot receiver home with a concussion.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It's a rare treat when you get to experience the extraordinary in sports.

As Broncos fans we've been spoiled with the amount of "extraordinary" we've witnessed over the years.

With the likes of John Elway, Terrell Davis and Peyton Manning on our rosters, it's been ridiculously wonderful how much greatness we've seen in action.

But when you get to see something out of the ordinary from a player who is extraordinary, it' magical too strong?

Not when Peyton Manning is involved.

And that "out-of-the-ordinary" thing was actually a trifecta:

  • Peyton Manning got visibly mad at an opposing player during a game
  • PFM threw down the F-bomb (what??)
  • The Hall-of-Fame QB got a career first flag for taunting. For taunting!  (Oh, how I would love to see Archie Manning's reaction to that one!)

Sheer awesome sauce.

"It fires us up because we have our leader fired up. Manning backed up what he told Swearinger. He came down and he answered." -Kevin Vickerson

All this drama is well-documented by now. Texans safety D.J. Swearinger laid a hit on Wes Welker that sent Welker to the locker room with a concussion.

"I'm obviously concerned about Wes and never like seeing him come out of the game with a potential blow to the head," Manning said after the game.

Swearinger confirmed that Manning's words to him were not kind.

"He said ‘f-me,'" Swearinger told reporters, in what must have been a very curious press room. "Peyton can say what he wants to say, it really doesn't matter. We got the ‘W' and that's what we said we were going to do when we got into an altercation during practice. I'm happy."

Well, I'm not. At least not about Welker's condition. Clean hit or not, Swearinger needed to be put in his place.

So what was Manning's follow-up to Swearinger's hit?

A touchdown and a talking-to. Oh what a beautiful sight to behold.


And what's even better is that Manning's outburst was still very cool-headed.

He had a few words with Swearinger after the hit, but he waited until throwing a touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders in spectacular fashion before seeking out Swearinger. And there were only five seconds left in the half.

"I think if you're going to get one, that's a good time to get one," Manning said, as if to say, "Hey refs, I'll take your 15-yard penalty and you can add another 20 if you want."

So take note, NFL defenders. Peyton "I will kick your ass up and down the field with the football" Manning is no push over. And his teammates know - and appreciate - this.

Go after him - or his guys - and he's going to show you why that was a mistake.

And apparently, he'll follow up with a little one-on-one.

"That's what you want to see from a leader, to show some fire emotion and passion. It reignited a lit fire," offensive lineman Louis Vasquez told the Denver Post. "It shows he's not going to back down."

Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, playing for the first time since suffering a hip injury last season, noted that the words were impressive but it was the action that made it effective.

"It fires us up because we have our leader fired up," Vickerson said. "Manning backed up what he told Swearinger. He came down and he answered."

Ah, karma.

"Peyton doesn't like that, no one likes that. It's bad sportsmanship," said Sanders, who made the 29-yard touchdown catch just a few plays after Swearinger's hit on Welker. "Peyton gave him a little, and then he threw the ball to me and we scored. It all worked itself out."

Sanders praised the Texans for helping the Broncos become a better football team all week during their joint practices but noted that Swearinger had been talking a lot.

"If Peyton is addressing the situation, that means he's got the backs of his teammates," said Sanders, receiver du jour. "[Swearinger's] been a competitor all week at practice. We've been competing against him, and sometimes he lets his attitude get the most of him."

Bet that doesn't happen again when The Sheriff is in town.

Note to the football gods - minus a concussed teammate, please let that happen again. Please.