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Way Back When: Manning's magical seven-touchdown night against the Ravens

The Denver Broncos do not have an especially long history with the Baltimore Ravens, having compiled a 6-5 regular season record, along with two conspicuous and disappointing playoff losses since the old Cleveland Browns relocated to Baltimore.

But the most remarkable game stands out as one for the ages, coming in Denver on opening day of the 2013 season, Peyton Manning's second with the Broncos.

The Broncos won 49-27, and the most historically significant aspect of that score was that all 49 of the Broncos' points came via touchdown passes by Manning, with the result being a Denver win over the defending Super Bowl champions in the 2013 NFL Kickoff Game.

Manning always had a great sense of both history and the dramatic, and both were center stage that day.

He matched the NFL record for passing touchdowns in a single game with seven and had 462 passing yards, third best in team history, and just for good measure, it all happened against the team that had eliminated Denver from the playoffs the previous year.

The game actually was delayed by a 33-minute weather delay, but once it began it was all Manning.

Denver was scoreless in the first quarter, which ended with Baltimore holding a 7-0 lead. But in the second period, Manning threw two touchdown passes to tight end Julius Thomas, for 24 and 23 yards. Still, Baltimore scored another 10 points to secure a 17-14 halftime lead.

The 76,977 fans in attendance had no idea what was coming in the second half.

The Broncos put up 28 unanswered points on four Manning touchdowns in one of the greatest passing outbursts in NFL history.

His third TD came on a 28-yard pass to wide receiver Andre Caldwell, and then newly acquired wideout Wes Welker found himself on the receiving end of touchdown passes four and five, both short tosses of 5 and 2 yards, respectively.

Denver was up by a 35-17 margin entering the fourth quarter, and the Broncos not only did not look back but were also able to add another TD pass, this time on a 26-yard toss to Demaryius Thomas, before the Ravens finally scored again.

Manning capped his record night with a screen pass that Demaryius Thomas took 78 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give Denver the 22-point victory.

View photos from the Broncos' season opener against the Ravens.

In addition to scoring the most points ever against the Ravens franchise, the Broncos also produced just the second trio in NFL history to each score multiple receiving touchdowns in the same game (D. Thomas, J. Thomas, and Welker).

And in an esoteric note that perhaps only trivia buffs would find significant, it was the only time in NFL history that two different players with the last name Thomas on the same team caught four touchdowns.

I believe that in my entire four-decade career with the Broncos, Manning had the single greatest sense and appreciation of history of any Denver player.

He finished his night having completed 27-of-42 passes for a 141.1 rating, in addition to tying the all-time record for touchdown passes in a single game.

That win over the Ravens was a fitting kickoff to a campaign in which the Broncos went 13-3 and then posted playoff victories over the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots.

Denver ultimately lost Super Bowl XLVIII to the Seattle Seahawks, but football history is always bigger than just one year.

Two years later, the Broncos again kicked off their season with a game against the Ravens at home. Though the team didn't have the same offensive success, the matchup kickstarted another run to the championship game. Manning was again under center, but this time the team was remodeled with a legendary defensive unit — to win Super Bowl 50 and help put an appropriate bow on the package of the great Peyton Manning's career.

He had four fabulous years with the Denver Broncos, creating special and different memories for every fan of Broncos Country, but there is no question that one on every list was the night Manning threw seven touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens.

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