AFC North News: Peyton Manning shreds Ravens in season-opener

Dustin Bradford

Defending champs allow the most points in their franchise's history in 49-27 loss to Denver.

The Broncos won the coin toss Thursday night and elected to kick the holy hell out of the Baltimore Ravens.

Never before have the Ravens, in their 18 years of existence, allowed 49 points in a game. Never since Joe Kapp with the Minnesota Vikings 44 years ago has the NFL seen a quarterback throw seven touchdown passes.

Such were the fates of the Ravens and Broncose QB Peyton Manning Thursday, as Denver rallied from a 17-14 halftime deficit to a comfortable 49-27 victory - one that would have been worse if not for a Leon Lett moment from Broncos linebacker Danny Travathan. After an interception of Joe Flacco (who had two on the game), Travathan fumbled mid-celebration at the 1-yard line. The ball rolled out of the end zone for the touchback, giving the Ravens the ball back. Baltimore scored on the drive, making the score 42-24.

It was a 14-point swing the Broncos did not need anyway. Manning would respond, again, after a Ravens field goal, hitting Demaryius Thomas on a short throw to the flats. Thomas took it 78 yards for the last score of the night.

Denver racked up 510 yards of offense, and forced two turnovers. Baltimore got two turnovers, but neither from its starting defense - along with Travathan's fumble, Broncos WR Wes Welker muffed a punt inside his own 5-yard line.

The league's highly anticipated league opener was a dud of a game overall, but the rest of the league kicks off Sunday, including the Steelers' first season-opener at home in three years. The last two, against the Ravens and Broncos, respectively, resulted in losses.

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