Broncos, Ravens tied at 35 heading into OT
The 13-degree temperature at kickoff made this the coldest playoff game ever played in Denver. The wind chill was 2. The only colder game played in Denver was against San Diego on Dec. 10, 1972, when the temperature was 9 degrees.
Holliday also returned a punt and a kickoff for scores in the regular season, and his big day came just an hour after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated his intention to consider this offseason the idea of abolishing kickoffs altogether for safety's sake.
Goodell said he realizes it's an exciting play but worries that players will keep getting head injuries.
The Ravens countered Holliday's speed with Torrey Smith's. The Baltimore receiver breezed past Champ Bailey for two long touchdowns in the first half, including one just before halftime that tied it at 21.
Smith had just two catches in the first half, but they covered 91 yards and both went for scores.
He sped past Bailey for a 59-yard TD in the first quarter and then beat him down the sideline for a 32-yard TD catch 36 seconds left before the break that capped a three-play, 58-yard drive that began after Matt Prater botched a 52-yard field-goal attempt that would have given Denver a double-digit lead.
Running back Knowshon Moreno's first touchdown catch of the season, a 13-yard grab in tight coverage by linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, had given the Broncos a 21-14 lead. Moreno later left with a knee injury.
Manning, the league's only four-time MVP, had lost his three previous playoff games below 40 degrees, all while playing for the Indianapolis Colts, who released him last year after a series of neck operations. Manning had a stellar bounce-back season in Denver, throwing for 4,659 yards and a team-record 37 TDs.
Wearing gloves on both hands for the first time in his career — the one on the right hand as much a concession to the altered feel of his grip following the four neck surgeries as it was for the wintry weather, Manning threw a 15-yard TD toss to Brandon Stokley to tie it at 14.
Baltimore tied it at 7 when Smith got behind Bailey and hauled in Flacco's 59-yard touchdown toss.
Forty-two seconds later, cornerback Corey Graham picked off a Manning pass that deflected off receiver Eric Decker and returned it 39 yards for the score — and the Broncos trailed for the first time since Dec. 2 against Tampa Bay.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 13976Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 9656Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 9589Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 8454Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6577Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 6030Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 5383Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister