The first regular-season NFL game kicked off in Denver on Thursday night between the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens, dominating the conversation on Facebook with over 20 million interactions – posts, comments and likes – by more than 8 million people.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s throwing skills, severe weather, and a game-tying catch by former NBA star Julius Thomas were among the most-buzzed-about moments. Take a look at the top five:

Top Social Moments on Facebook

  • Peyton Manning throws his record-tying 7th touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter to seal the 49-27 victory
  • Severe lightning and rain delay the start of the game by 33 minutes
  • Playing in his first NFL game, Broncos backup tight end and former basketball star Julius Thomas catches his 2nd touchdown during the second quarter to tie the game at 14-14
  • Wes Welker catches his 2nd touchdown of the third quarter (and game) to give the Broncos a 35-17 lead
  • The Ravens take a 14-7 lead on Ray Rice’s 1-yard TD run midway through the second quarter

The most-talked-about moments nearly match up with the most-talked-about players. Manning is at the top of the list, followed by teammate Wes Welker, and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Denver’s Julius Thomas and Baltimore’s Ray Rice round out the top five:

Most Talked About Players on Facebook

  • Peyton Manning
  • Wes Welker
  • Joe Flacco
  • Julius Thomas
  • Ray Rice

Buzz about the game was nearly split between the sexes. Men squeezed out women with 53% of total interactions on Facebook. Breaking it down, men and women between the ages of 18 and 34 were chatting the most about the game, taking the top four slots in demographic rankings. Men 35-44 were also among the top age groups.

Top 5 Demos

  • Men 25-34
  • Women 25-34
  • Men 18-24
  • Women 18-24
  • Men 35-44


Players, analysts, and other public figures joined the conversation, such as Bill Simmons lamenting his Fantasy Football roster.

Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams battling his daughter for the remote control during the game.

Comedian and former Monday Night Football commentator, Dennis Miller, posting his own color commentary throughout the game.

 

By Alex Walker, Facebook Consumer Content Manager & Robert D’Onofrio, Facebook Data Editor