Yesterday, Broncos fans saw a new chapter in the Peyton Manning legend happen live during Denver's 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers.
And it was beautiful.
For the first time since 1994, when he was a freshman at Tennessee, Manning was initially in a backup role owing to injuries that sidelined him since mid-November. But while young buck Brock Osweiler didn't play badly, the team turned the ball over five times, giving life to the woeful Chargers — and raising the possibility that Denver would blow the opportunity for a number 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Needing a momentum change, coach Gary Kubiak called Manning's number during the third quarter — and while Peyton's stats weren't exactly eye-popping, the jolt his presence gave to the players around him most certainly was.
Twitter Nation responded to the eventual Broncos triumph in a big way — and while plenty of haters included accusations of cheating with human growth hormones in their reactions, we've accentuated the positive in the following top tweets list. Hell, someone even baked Peyton a cake!
Enjoy our favorites below, interspersed with images from the game.
Hearing the Denver crowd roar when Peyton trotted onto the field brought chills and tears! Welcome back Peyton Manning! #BroncosCountry— Mitchell Hap Towner (@Hap_Towner) January 4, 2016
Welcome back Peyton! pic.twitter.com/aBU2OmHwXB— Cindy (@cfinerty22) January 4, 2016
Very happy for Peyton Manning coming off the bench today for the comeback win for the Broncos. Can't disrespect a legend like that. #Broncos— Adey Adeola (@adeyadeola) January 4, 2016
[email protected] (@mom4jesus464) January 4, 2016
I dont know whats more impressive Adeles comeback or Peyton Mannings one hahahaha— JCorregidor (@JCorregidor0) January 4, 2016
I see you all trying to pull the Peyton HGH card with that comeback victory.No one believes that story,unless you're a Raiders fan.Hi Haters— Mac (@Mac10colorado) January 4, 2016
Wasn't pretty, but it was a W! Thank goodness Peyton was able to come back in!!— Kim Trueblood (@broncoschic71) January 4, 2016
He's been planning this since he got hurt. The comeback king, Good ole Peyton.— Corie Nix (@CorieNix) January 4, 2016
PEYTON MANNING = KING OF THE COMEBACK #SDvsDEN— Tracy Bonzo (@TracyBonzo) January 4, 2016
Nice to see everyone showing Peyton love #comeback— Daniel Freeman (@djfree) January 4, 2016
How have things been since Peyton made his comeback? https://t.co/ySWfYBxReH— Clint Pitts (@Clint_Pitts) January 4, 2016
Awesome to see Peyton Manning come back in & give the #Broncos the win. #1 seed is the icing on top. Hope he wins it all & goes out on top— STEVEN (@sdabney21) January 4, 2016
Exclusive footage of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler after the Broncos' comeback win. pic.twitter.com/CaTW4KFQ3z— Eric Orvieto (@eorvieto) January 4, 2016