You never know what you will see when you attend or tune into a sports event.
Sunday at Indianapolis, the Colts just had too much overall for the Broncos, although Denver had some opportunities after falling behind 21-0.
But a shining light for the Broncos was the play of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who truly had a day for the ages in setting a new NFL record with 21 receptions — an astonishing single-game total.
He had 200 receiving yards with two touchdowns, and the 21 catches were six more than any other player in the league has had in a single game this year. He surpassed the previous record, which was 20 by Terrell Owens.
Marshall now has had two of the top four single-game performances in NFL history. He had 18 at home against the Chargers in 2008, which currently is tied for third best all-time.
If those stats are not enough of a “wow” factor, consider that Marshall had 12 first downs receiving Sunday at Indy (five on third down) — 12 is a record for any Bronco receiver in a single game and ranks fourth in all-time NFL history.
Marshall went over 1,000 yards receiving at Indy with three games to go, and he is on pace for a third 100-catch season.
He was targeted by quarterback Kyle Orton for 28 passes, and that is the highest total in the NFL since at least the 1994 season — a 15-year span.
The 200 reception yards by Marshall were the most by an AFC player in any game this year (fourth overall), and they represent the third highest total in the Broncos’ 50-year history.
That was Marshall’s eighth career game with at least 10 catches, the most by a player through his first four seasons in NFL history.
His two scores brought the Broncos back from a 21-0 deficit against the Colts in their home park and within five of Indianapolis before the home team had a long sustained drive late in the game to secure the win and keep the ball out of Marshall’s hands, or that record might be even higher and the Colts might not be undefeated today.
Sometimes, when you tip your hat to a performance, you just don’t have a hat that’s big enough.