Peyton Manning makes statement; Philip Rivers flops

Monday night was supposed to be a showcase of two of the best quarterbacks in the AFC.

Peyton Manning kept up his end of the bargain (and then some). Philip Rivers didn't come close.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the Denver Broncos' historic 35-24 comeback over the San Diego Chargers in Week 6 on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. ET.

The Denver Broncos spotted the San Diego Chargers 24 points, and it didn't matter. Manning was completely unstoppable in the second half, going 13-of-14 passing for 167 yards and three touchdowns as the Broncos rolled to a 35-24 statement victory.

Manning deserves every bit of adulation he'll receive after this one. It was a vintage performance from a player who now has definitively proved he's all the way back from multiple neck surgeries. There should be no more debates if Manning still has it. He remains as big a presence as he ever was.

This was the biggest comeback of Manning's NFL career and the 47th game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime, tying Dan Marino's all-time mark. Manning now has thrown for 300 yards in four consecutive games. John Elway gambled on the veteran and hit blackjack.

And then there's Rivers. What are we to make of him at this point? He hasn't had a meaningful moment this season, and he's coming off the worst season of his career. At 32, he still should be squarely in his prime, and yet, he doesn't seem to be anywhere close to the perennial MVP candidate he once was.

As the moment got bigger Monday night, Rivers shrunk. The Chargers turned it over five times on six second-half possessions, and Rivers had a hand in every one. Yikes.

Manning won't always be this good, and Rivers can't possibly always be this bad. But on Monday night, there was no doubt which team has the superior quarterback.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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