INDIANAPOLIS – Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning closed out the first half 204 yards short of the NFL’s record for career passing yards as he was 9-of-22 passing for 80 yards in the Broncos’ game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Broncos trailed 17-7 at halftime, by the grace of Omar Bolden’s 83-yard punt return for a touchdown on the last play of the first half, so Manning’s attempt to also set the win record for a starting quarterback will still require the Broncos to get some work done after halftime. The Colts outgained the Broncos 195-95 in the opening half.
It all was a bit reminiscent of the Broncos’ playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts last January, when the Colts limited the Broncos in the run game and repeatedly forced Manning to make throws up the sideline.
Manning and the Broncos were unable to make the Colts pay for the strategy. Before Bolden’s return, the Broncos had not been shut out in the first half of a game since Week 6 of the 2012 season when they trailed the San Diego Chargers 24-0 at halftime before the Broncos rebounded for a 35-24 victory.
Manning’s 9-of-22 performance in the first half was his worst completion percentage (40.9 percent) in the opening half of a game since Week 10 in 2008 when he completed 39.1 percent of his passes in the first half of a game against the Steelers.