INDIANAPOLIS -- Denver still doesn't know what happened.
But that's the beauty of the Indianapolis Colts offense. Or that's the beast. Or both. The Colts are so good, and quarterback Peyton Manning is so surgically precise, that Denver had most of its vital organs removed -- and never felt a thing.
|Facing Peyton Manning can cause plenty of denial for opponents. (US Presswire)|
"We lost a lot of field position today," he said, twice, in his short postgame comments.
Denver's Champ Bailey, the Pro Bowl cornerback, thought it was the Colts' running backs.
"It wasn't like (Manning) was doing anything spectacular," Bailey said. "Their running game was killing us."
Denver's Dre' Bly, the other Pro Bowl cornerback, thought it was the Colts' offensive coordinator. Whoever that guy is.
"You can't give (Manning) all the credit," Bly said. "He doesn't call the plays. He doesn't make the adjustments. He's not the offensive coordinator."
There you have it. Indianapolis beat Denver 38-20 on Sunday because of superior special teams, a solid ground game and a smart offensive coordinator. That's the perspective straight from the Denver locker room.
Meanwhile, back on planet earth ...
Peyton Manning was sensational, perhaps as good as he's ever been. Granted, if you looked only at his statistics, you might not suspect such a thing. Manning was 20 for 27 for 193 yards. He threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Those are rich numbers for most quarterbacks, but Manning isn't most quarterbacks. If passing yardage was money, Manning could find 193 yards between the cushions of his couch.
Manning's numbers might have fooled you, but don't feel bad. His numbers fooled Shanahan and Bailey and Bly and anyone else in the Denver locker room who thinks the story of Sunday's game was anybody but No. 18 for the Colts.
Manning's numbers didn't fool anyone in his own locker room, however. His teammates know the value of their quarterback, and are aware of the subtle show he put on Sunday.