Why Was Peyton Manning Lingering at the Buccaneers Game?

Getty Images Former Broncos and Colts QB Peyton Manning

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers demolished the Denver Broncos on Sunday with Tom Brady throwing three touchdown passes and further improving his status as an NFL legend.

Prior to the contest, he and several members of the Buccaneers staff met with another NFL legend Peyton Manning.

“It was good to see him,” Brady said (via Broncoswire). “He’s familiar with a lot of guys that we have on our staff. I’ve known Peyton for a long time – almost 20 years. It was great to see him and his kids, and I just love seeing him. It was unexpected but great for me to be able to see him and his kids.”

Broncos QB Situation Looks Even Shakier

Starting quarterback Drew Lock injured his shoulder on last week vs. the Steelers. It was diagnosed as a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and he is is still at least a couple weeks away from getting back on the field. However, the Broncos are hopeful that Lock can return before the team’s Week 8 bye, as Pro Football Action relayed.

With Lock out, Jeff Driskel started the game against the Bucs. He didn’t finish the contest, as coach Vic Fangio pulled him after going 17-for-30 for 176 yards (with one touchdown and one interception).

Brett Rypien, who went 8-for-9 for 53 yards on Sunday in relief of Driskel.

The team brought in former No. 3 Blake Bortles last week. Denver is Bortles’ third team in the NFL, following stints with the Jaguars and Rams. In his career, Bortles has a record of 24-49 and while all of those losses (and some of the wins) are not his fault, the other numbers are not flattering. Bortles has completed just 59.3% of his throws during this time in the league, tossing 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions.

Latest on the Buccaneers’ Wide Receivers

Mike Evans didn’t see many targets on Sunday, though that wasn’t because of a lack of confidence from Brady. The 43-year-old called Evans “one of the great receivers in the NFL.”

Evans may see more opportunities in the coming weeks. Chris Godwin left the game during the second quarter with a hamstring injury on Sunday. Brady connected with Godwin on a 10-yard touchdown before the wideout was forced out of the game.

“A heck of a job by Chris [Godwin] getting it in the end zone and turning that into a touchdown,” Arians said of the play after the game (via the Taylor Jenkins of the Pewter Report). “We’ve started fast in every ball game. We get a lead and we have to develop a better finish, I won’t say a killer instinct, just a finish.”

If Godwin can’t go on Sunday vs. the Chargers, expect Evans to see expanded looks just as he did in Week 2 with Godwin sidelined. Evans saw a pass on 34.5% of his team route ran in the Panthers game.

You can follow Chris Crouse on Twitter at @NBACrouse and stay up to date with the latest in Tampa Bay via the Heavy on Buccaneers Facebook Page.

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