There are a lot of quarterbacks who have never thrown for 438 yards in a game and even fewer who have done it and then referred to the game as one of the worst performances of their career, but that’s just what Peyton Manning did after he and the Broncos slumped to a 43-21 loss in New England.
Manning added two touchdowns and two interceptions to all those yards and said after the game that he thought his play was “below average” and well below the standard he has set throughout his career.
“I don’t usually stink, but I stunk today,” Manning said, via the Boston Globe and presumably not in the cadence of the Nationwide jingle.
Manning noted that the team moved the ball well for much of the game, but called one of his interceptions a “bad, bad throw” and lamented the team’s inability to convert third down opportunities all day long. One thing he didn’t do was chalk the loss up to playing in Gillette Stadium against the Patriots.
“I guess I’m not smart enough to draw that many connections,” Manning said. “I kind of take them one year at a time. [There are] different players and we didn’t on offense do the things we talked about doing. That starts with me — I’ve got to play better. That’s pretty plain and simple. When the quarterback stinks, usually you’re not going to win too many games.”
Sunday’s loss makes it likelier that a rematch in the playoffs this year will be held at the same place, so Manning may have a chance to redeem himself in a few months. It won’t be easy, though. The Patriots have now won 34 straight regular season games at home against AFC teams and they’ve won 14 straight at home overall, leaving a tall task for Denver and anyone else in the conference that has to go through New England this season.