During the Week 15 broadcast of “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli”, the Manning brothers hosted Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis and legendary Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware. In addition to analyzing the matchup between the Rams and the Packers, the group shared memories of their time playing with and against each other in the NFL.
Ware and Peyton Manning were teammates on the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 championship team, and Ware recounted a special moment with the Lombardi Trophy following the Broncos' victory.
"I didn't want to touch the trophy at the end of the game," Ware said. "So, all the guys [were] touching the trophy, the confetti's going everywhere and then I start walking into the locker room and nobody's in there, right? And I see the Super Bowl trophy right there in my locker. And Ray, Eli, everybody knows what I'm saying. When you see that trophy, no fingerprints on it — and so I grabbed that trophy. I've got chills right now even thinking about grabbing that trophy. And I get a tap on my shoulder, and Peyton was right there. And y'all don't understand — when you've got a guy like Peyton and me, we're together, … it was one of those moments where he was like, 'We made it.'"
Eli interjected: "He wanted to steal the trophy from you."
"He did want the trophy," Ware said. "He hugged it a little bit harder than that. So, we actually hugged the trophy together at the end, and he stole it because I didn't get my five minutes with the trophy. He came in and took it."
Eli later brought up an iconic matchup between Manning and Ware in 2013, when Ware was still on the Cowboys. In the Broncos' 51-48 win over Dallas, Manning completely fooled Ware on a bootleg play; on the 1-yard line, Manning faked a handoff before rolling out to the left, and he was able to trot into the end zone himself untouched.
"Peyton probably had three yards his whole career rushing, so I knew that he did not have the football, and so I just dove down," Ware said. "I'm like, 'Listen, I've got to get to the running back.' And all of a sudden, the crowd was really quiet. And I looked to my right, and I saw Peyton. I said, 'Are you kidding me?' Oh, I was shocked. I was shocked, he got me. I was shocked."
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Cornerback Pat Surtain II sealed the Broncos' win over the Cardinals in Week 15 with his second interception of the season, and he noted after the game that those types of game-changing plays are what the Broncos had been seeking.
"When you make plays like that, you change the whole scenario of the game," Surtain said. "Especially adjusting with the two picks and then making an interception to close it out. Plays like that, that's game-changing. It's a big deal. So, we needed those. We understand that we need to do [that] on defense and capitalize."
The Broncos have recorded a league-leading eight interceptions over the last three games, and Surtain said that this defense is a special group to be a part of.
"The way we communicate, the way we fly around, the way how we stick together no matter what, you know, it's just a special feeling," Surtain said. "You know, we preach about this unit all the time, just relentless effort, hard work just to make plays, and that's what we do week in and week out. Every time we step into the week, we accept the challenge, we come out and prove ourselves. This defense all around is great, and I'm very proud to be part of it."