The Atlanta Falcons did what few others have in the last decade of NFL football -- fool Peyton Manning.
The new quarterback of the Denver Broncos was baited into throwing three interceptions in the first quarter of Monday night's game against the Falcons. All three passes were down the right seam into disguised coverages. The first two had safety help lurking in the middle. The third was an outstanding play by cornerback Robert McClain, who was playing two verticals on the right side of the field.
"I don't make any excuses for it," Manning said. "Three poor decisions. Three throws into coverage. Just have to be able to eliminate those.
"I put our team in too far of a hole. ... I'm sure when I see the film I'll see someone open short underneath on the checkdown."
Manning said there were no physical issues with the turnovers, just poor decision-making.
On the flip-side, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan drew Manning comparisons from the Denver Post's Mike Klis. Ryan completed 24 of 36 for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Let's hold off before we crown Matty Ice the next Manning. He's one of a few quarterbacks looking to move into that elite realm, but as Joe Flacco can attest, things can change from week to week.