On that fateful day back in March, few could have predicted how the ensuing months would unfold. As incredible as the story has been for the Indianapolis Colts, it’s been equally as astonishing what 36-year-old future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning, has accomplished in Denver this season.
In capping off an incredible (comeback) year, Manning earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for a record 23rd time in his career in leading the team past Kansas City in the final game of the regular season. The accolade was a fitting bookend for Manning’s first season back from a serious surgical procedure with results so uncertain it caused the Colts to release one of the top quarterbacks ever after 14 seasons.
Whether it was the change of scenery or just sheer determination to show his former team he still has what it takes, Manning has been nothing short of spectacular this season in helping propel the Denver Broncos to a 13-3 record and second straight AFC West Division title. As of Jan. 2, Manning ranks in the top 10 in several key offensive categories and set a handful of team and NFL records along the way as well. In addition to ranking first with a 68.8 completion percentage, Manning is second in passer rating (105.8), boasting his highest mark since 2004, and also finished the regular season ranked third in touchdowns (37) and sixth in yards (4,659).
Records-wise, Manning’s totals for completions, touchdowns, and yards all broke team single-season numbers, while his three scores against the Chiefs gave him his 73rd game tallying a trio of touchdowns to surpass Brett Favre for the league record. He also solidified his popularity with fans and players alike, as he received the most votes en route to his 12th Pro Bowl selection.
As a team, the Broncos have excelled on both the offensive and defensive fronts. The squad ranks second in points (481) and points per game (30.1), fourth in total yards (6,366) and yards per game (397.9), and fifth in passing yards (4,534) and passing yards per game (283.4). On the defensive end, Denver ranks second in yards (4,652), yards per game (290.8), and third in passing yards (3,194), passing yards per game (199.6), rushing yards (1,458), and rushing yards per game (91.1).
This year marks the second consecutive postseason appearance for Denver, which relied on the late-season heroics of second-year quarterback Tim Tebow in 2011 to break the previous six-year postseason drought. The top-seeded Broncos, which earned a first-round bye in the playoffs, will host the winner of the contest between the fourth-seeded Baltimore Ravens and fifth-seeded Indianapolis Colts, on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Regardless of the opponent, you won’t want to miss Manning and company in action this postseason. Purchase your 2013 Denver Broncos playoff tickets today from the Vivid Seats marketplace, where you’ll also find a vast collection of 2013 NFL playoff tickets for all teams competing in the coming weeks.