Blood, feathers at Invesco Field


Several major crimes occurred at Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High on Sept. 5.

Seriously, did anyone happen to get the license plate number of the Well-Oiled Orange Machine that ran over 12 members of the Baltimore Ravens defense last week?

All I saw was the number 18 and the rest was just a blur — it all happened so fast.

And did anyone get a good look at the 12 guys who mercilessly pummeled Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco for much of the game? Poor Joe never saw it coming, even the monster-sized version of Flacco that audaciously hung in poster form outside of Denver's stadium.

The Broncos-Ravens NFL opener was a beat-down of criminal proportions. For Denver, it was personal; an old-fashioned revenge-fueled hammering that made their fans forget all about January's disastrous … OK, no need to bring all that up again.

Seriously, though. The Broncos Orange-Crushed Baltimore. It was devastatingly criminal.

Threats of lightning may have delayed the start of the game, but the Birds ended up leaving Denver thunderstruck.

It was a Grateful Dead lyric in reverse: “If the lightning don't get you, then the thunder will.”

The Broncos pounded the defending Super Bowl champions behind Peyton Manning's seven — yes, seven — touchdown passes. It's a feat that hasn't happened in real life since 1969 and it's one that's usually only seen these days with game console controllers in hand.

Manning threw for a ridiculous 462 yards while slinging touchdown passes to four different receivers. Oh, and that pounding noise you heard in the third quarter didn't come from storm clouds; it was the sound of every fantasy football league owner in the country galloping in sync toward their laptops, in hopes of adding Denver tight end Julius Thomas to their rosters.

And Denver's defense played well without injured cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Von Miller, who is serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

The Broncos sacked Flacco four times and picked him off twice, while holding him to a pedestrian 69 passer rating. The Denver “D” also held Ray Rice to just 36 yards on the ground.

But the win was particularly cathartic for Broncos fans. The clobbering of the Ravens helped fans to exorcise a heck of a lot of demons, Linda Blair-style. The demons stemmed from Denver's historically abysmal record against Baltimore teams over the years, but they haunt Broncos fans primarily because of January's playoff — OK, no need to bring all that up again.

I know, it was just one game. Manning isn't going to throw seven TDs every week. And let's not forget that the Denver defense looked pretty darn good for much of last year's regular season — at least until … OK, no need to bring all that up again.

But for now, let's all just sit back and continue to bask in last week's beat-down, at least until Sunday, when the Manning Bowl is played in New York.

And I won't be lending any help with the criminal investigation into what happened at Invesco Field, where a murder of crows was annihilated.

Oh, sure. I witnessed everything. But I won't be feeling guilty for not stepping forward.

It's like what I always told the cops when I was a kid…

“I didn't see nothin'.”

In addition to sports column writing, Vic Vela covers the Legislature for Colorado Community Media. He can be reached at, or follow Vic on Twitter: @VicVela1.


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