One of the questions fans least like to ask about their teams is how their team handles adversity. Do they come together to lift each other to victory or do they wither away and give up? We only have to wait 60 minutes into the 2014 NFL Season to learn the answer to that about these Denver Broncos.
In the first half, both the offense and defense were gelling together like a well-oiled sports car. With just over a minute left in the half, Peyton Manning put the Broncos up 24-0 over the Indianapolis Colts and fans everywhere we already counting the days to the Super Bowl.
Then things got interesting.
The Broncos offense disappeared, while Andrew Luck and the Colts offense finally woke up. With both units on the heels, it came down to the Broncos defense to find a way to hold the line as long as possible. This came with two goalline stands and a critical turnover or two. At the end of the day, the defense was able to contain the Colts explosive fury to just 17 second-half points, even though the Colts put up over 300 yards of total offense during that time frame.
To make matters worse, Peyton Manning just couldn't find a way to get it done outside of one critical touchdown drive that came with a very short field to start with. His three and outs with the game on the line were quite uncharacteristic of him, so having the defense step it up to essentially win the game for the Broncos should give Manning some peace of mind that he doesn't actually have to do it all for this team.
This team can win together.
Broncos/Colts Game Recaps
Sunday night wrap-up: Broncos hang on after hot start | ProFootballTalk
Maybe it was just 19 seconds, and maybe we’re making too much of this. But sometimes, it seems like the only non-Seahawk who can slow down Peyton Manning is John Fox.
Broncos hold off Colts to reassert AFC dominance - USA Today
There was no Super Bowl-blowout hangover for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, who reasserted themselves as the AFC's best team in a 31-24 win Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos - Recap - September 07, 2014 - ESPN
Peyton Manning sure didn't need Wes Welker in this heart-pounding opener. He threw three touchdown passes to tight end Julius Thomas in the first half and the Denver Broncos held on to beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-24 on Sunday night.
Rapid Reaction: Denver Broncos - Denver Broncos Blog - ESPN
A few thoughts from the Denver Broncos' 31-24 victory against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday night in Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Broncos beat Colts, 31-24, in season opener - The Denver Post
The Broncos' march back to the big game starts with Peyton Manning. And tight end Julius Thomas.
Missed opportunities cause Colts 31-24 loss to Denver - IndyStar
What caught our eye from the Indianapolis Colts’ 31-24 loss to the Denver Broncos Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
John Fox said Kayvon Webster & Ronnie Hillman "fell behind in the gameplan..." That's why they didn't dress.— Brandon Krisztal (@BKDenverSports) September 8, 2014
Marijuana Seeps Into Tailgating Rituals at Mile High in Colorado - NYTimes.com
Wait. Does that glittering stadium really look like a just-landed spaceship under a blueberry sky? Or is that just because, well, y’know. ...
Horses are pooping on the field during Sunday Night Football - SBNation.com
When you choose to have live mascot, sometimes accidents happen. Yes, those kinds of accidents. It's okay though, because the Denver Broncos were prepared with giant snow shovels to use as pooper-scoopers.
Broncos’ field looks a little rough, choppy | ProFootballTalk
It’s Week One, so the various grass fields in the NFL won’t ever be in much better condition than they’re in right now.
6 stunning frame-by-frame photos of Antonio Brown karate kicking a punter - SBNation.com
Presenting these images narrated by the internal monologue of Browns punter Spencer Lanning.
3 things we learned from Atlanta's overtime win - SBNation.com
The Falcons dropped the Saints in a 37-34 thriller and proved their offense is ready to dominate.
3 things we learned in San Francisco's beatdown of Dallas - SBNation.com
The Cowboys got off to an awful start against the 49ers, and never recovered. Get ready to hear a lot of questions about Tony Romo, Jason Garrett and the future of the team.
NFL, NFLPA making progress, but amnesty for players 'very unlikely' - CBSSports.com
It's rare that in the course of a sensitive, lengthy and potentially historic negotiation you can take a snapshot and get the NFL and the players union to agree on what's going on.
Week 1 NFL Winners and Losers: Really, Buccaneers? | Shutdown Corner
Well guys, I know we just got embarrassed at home by a Panthers team starting Derek Anderson at quarterback with the worst offensive supporting cast in the NFL.
Upsets, near-upsets and overtimes highlight an exciting NFL Week 1 | Shutdown Corner
Or did it take less time than that for the Jacksonville Jaguars to jump out to a 17-0 lead on the Philadelphia Eagles? Or for the Buffalo Bills to announce that they would be more than a pushover against the favored Chicago Bears?
Supposed 49ers locker room dissent, NFL drug policy, Josh Gordon trade rumors - Yahoo Sports
It has been quite a busy day of NFL news. Considering it's game day, I suppose this should not be surprising. The big news was Ian Rapoport's report on NFL Network that there are some questions of dissent in the 49ers locker room.