Peyton Manning’s performance on Sunday featured contributions from more than just the pocket.
In the second quarter, Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers was on his way to a 76-yard fumble return touchdown. But Manning stuck with the play and took an angle on Flowers, drawing contact and forcing him to cut back into the arms of tight end Joel Dreessen, who made the tackle at the 12-yard line.
After the turnover, the Denver defense held Kansas City to a field goal rather than a game-tying touchdown.
“I knew if I at least made them cut back, I thought somebody would be there,” Manning recalled. “it was a heck of a play by Joel hustling back. As soon as that happens, what you want to do is try to get them down and hold them to three so it was a good hustle play by Joel.”
While Manning also filled up the stat sheet in his usual ways – 300 yards passing, three touchdown passes, a nearly perfect passer rating, etcetera – he jokingly suggested that he should have marked in one more category.
“I didn’t get the tackle?” he smiled. “I thought I got a hand on him, though. Maybe a half, can I get a half? Can we check with that? I thought I got a piece of him.”
Like Manning, Bailey looked back on it and laughed, but he’d rather see his quarterback stay on the cautious side in that type of situation.
“To me, I’m telling him to get out of the way,” Bailey said. “But the competitive nature in him is telling him to make the tackle… Nobody wants to see that.”
Linebacker Von Miller appreciated the effort, as well, but added that he has no desire to see his quarterback making more tackles.
“I knew he was going to do what’s best for the team,” Miller said. “I think he did enough. Obviously we don’t want him to get in there and be hit-sticking guys, but I think he did enough for Joel Dreessen to get over there and slow him down.”
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