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Sunday night wrap-up: Yeah, that Manning guy, he’s OK

Denver Broncos Manning is congratulated by Fox and McCoy in their NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Denver Reuters

As tempting as it is to say Peyton Manning’s back, it’s also unnecessary.

He doesn’t have to be the Old Peyton to work as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos.

Whether it’s with Jake Delhomme, Matt Moore or Tim Tebow, Broncos coach John Fox has shown he can win games, including playoff games, without having an elite quarterback. And Manning looks comfortable not having to live up to his own, perhaps impossible standards.

Manning might not have been like the pre-neck surgery Manning, but he was certainly good enough in his first start to make you think he can approach it.

He finished 19-of-26 passing for 253 yards and two touchdowns in the Broncos’ 31-19 win over the Steelers.

Manning worked it fast and he worked it slow, looking sharp on long drives and the shortest ones.

His 12-play, 80-yard no-huddle drive in the second quarter brought back memories of his healthy days in Indianapolis.

But his quick-strike touchdown in the third quarter after an hour on the sidelines showed how his knowledge of the game exceeds the strength of his arm. He read blitz, and got it out quickly to his hot read Demaryius Thomas, and let the young legs do the rest for 71 yards.

There was nothing about any of the particular throws that caught your eye. But the way he conducted the orchestra was masterful, and exactly what the Broncos were looking for.

So it doesn’t matter if he’s Old Peyton. Any Peyton is enough.

Here are five other things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. He was going to be overshadowed regardless.

But Ben Roethlisberger is still pretty good at this too.

His ability to extend plays makes him as dangerous as any quarterback in the league on third down, and there were multiple instances of that on display.

He’s still learning Todd Haley’s system, but when those two get on the same page, the Steelers should be fine.

2. Running back Knowshon Moreno scored the first touchdown, but there are things he’s going to have to get better at if he’s going to have a big role in Denver.

Moreno’s not great in pass protection, and an early whiff led to a shot on Manning.

That’s the kind of thing they can’t afford, having gone all-in on an old guy with a bad neck. Moreno’s talented enough to make a difference, but they won’t be able to withstand such lapses too often.

3. Mike Tomlin is a good coach.

Mike Tomlin made the same mistake too many coaches do, chasing two-point conversions before he needed to.

While waiting until you have to have it seems like an easy enough rule to remember, it seems like every coach falls victim to the temptation. Fox did it in a Super Bowl and it backfired there, so hopefully he learned.

4. The Broncos made two moves this offseason which were questioned, but shouldn’t have been.

There were a lot of people asking “Who?” when they drafted defensive tackle Derek Wolfe in the second round. They better learn more about him, because he looks like the kind of active inside rusher Fox loves. Wolfe had a sack in the first half, and has the kind of high-motor game that will make him a favorite of fans and coaches.

And in bringing in cornerback Tracy Porter from New Orleans, the Broncos signed a guy the Saints thought they could upgrade from. He’s had injury issues and isn’t the best tackler, but you can’t question his cover skills. His late interception was the game-clincher, and he gives them someone to keep opponents from simply ignoring Champ Bailey’s side of the field.

5. Isaac Redman got the start, but Jonathan Dwyer is the Steelers back that made a difference, in the absence of Rashard Mendenhall.

Dwyer’s lost weight and looks explosive, even though he didn’t get credit for that touchdown when he nearly Tebowed at the 2-yard line before replays kept the replacement refs from making a huge mistake.

If the Steelers can run more consistently, they’re going to be better able to do the things Haley wants to do.

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41 Responses to “Sunday night wrap-up: Yeah, that Manning guy, he’s OK”
  1. randomguy9999 says: Sep 9, 2012 11:45 PM

    Peyton was as good as he ever was…. and now the Broncs QB isn’t a fullback they have to reinvent everything for

  2. niners816 says: Sep 9, 2012 11:47 PM

    As a Niners fan and just a fan in general, football is a lot better with Peyton Manning. Glad to see him back. Good luck Peyton!!

  3. YouMadCauseImStylingOnYou says: Sep 9, 2012 11:48 PM

    Troy must be tired of seeing DeMariyus Thomas’ backside.

    Busted on cheating the line again. Got to watch the kid run right by him again. Hilarious.

  4. kattykathy says: Sep 9, 2012 11:51 PM

    As usual, Steelers overrated and overhyped

  5. tdrundmc says: Sep 9, 2012 11:52 PM

    Even though the Steelers defense is older than dirt, it was very entertaining watching Peyton carve them up.

  6. pftcensorssuck says: Sep 9, 2012 11:54 PM

    So happy for Peyton Manning. The NFL is a better place with a healthy Manning in it.

    Two TDs, no INTs, a total beat-down of the Steelers, and a QB rating of 129 …….how’d your QB do, Irsay?

  7. geniusfan says: Sep 9, 2012 11:55 PM

    The Steelers had their chances in this game, in the end though Manning and shockingly (to me at least) Denver’s running game were just too much in the end.

    The Broncos defense did get a bit better with Porter but that’s the only real improvement they made. The middle of their defense is still expolitable through the air which will hurt them against teams with involved tight ends. The drives the Steelers were able to sustain will catch up with this team eventually as well.

    It’s great to see Peyton back though, he’s a real pleasure to watch. His arm may never be the same but his knowledge and mastery of the position allows him to more than make up for the loss of arm strength.

  8. heyzeus143 says: Sep 10, 2012 12:01 AM

    You people are all losers, why don’t you do something with your lives other than BS about….sport

  9. broncomania18 says: Sep 10, 2012 12:16 AM

    We have the GOAT at QB. Way better than Saint Timmy Patron Saint of the Zone Read, but Pitt was down Harrison and Clark. Denver will improve and they have an incredibly tough schedule but they’ll be the most entertaining team.

  10. shootscuz says: Sep 10, 2012 12:36 AM

    The new safety Adams looked like a nice pick up as well. Del Rio needs to not be so conservative on 3rd down and send more then 3 after the QB. But still it was a good win. The Giants proved last year that you don’t have to look like the best team in the fall to win the big game. Go Broncos!!

  11. oldbrowndawg says: Sep 10, 2012 12:38 AM

    Looks like Pittsburgh probably isn’t looking forward to playing in Denver again any time soon. :-)

  12. sasattack says: Sep 10, 2012 12:38 AM

    Am I missing something or did Pit not kicking extra point have no impact on game? If they kick extra point they still would have needed TD to win.

  13. giantsfan2104 says: Sep 10, 2012 12:46 AM

    Congrats to Denver on their win. (Strange seeing Peyton in orange again) I don’t understand why some people think the Broncos have no chance.

    On a completely unrelated note, we just hit 30 days without an arrest :)

  14. WestCoastVet says: Sep 10, 2012 12:55 AM

    Another thing you guys learned: predicting against the 49ers is a bad idea.

  15. ch1ggs says: Sep 10, 2012 1:07 AM

    The worst officiating I saw all day long. Hurt both teams. Hey, NFL, get this fixed ASAP.

  16. jcg23 says: Sep 10, 2012 1:13 AM

    Romo 129 QBR
    Peyton 129 QBR

    Anyone else hit that feat?

  17. llghtn44 says: Sep 10, 2012 1:14 AM

    Three things to take away from week one Adrian Peterson is back Peyton is better than ever and the Nfl as A whole is dominating Sundays once again!!!!

  18. blackngold4life says: Sep 10, 2012 1:39 AM

    Until Coach Dick learns to play his DBs in bump and run every QB can do what Manning did.. my nephew can complete passes against that wide open zone..its extra easy with no pressure..& why they stop runnin the ball? Deter gets my vote to start next week

  19. peytonsneck18 says: Sep 10, 2012 1:48 AM

    how’d your QB do, Irsay?

    it was one game and his first game as a rookie, get a life !!!

  20. clemsonstillsucks says: Sep 10, 2012 2:40 AM

    Yo Zeus,

    Your mom couldn’t break a 20 and stole my toaster when she left….WTF?

    Great game Peyton!!

  21. ravenator says: Sep 10, 2012 5:05 AM

    Like I said, basement dwellers this Steeler team will be.

  22. joewilliesshnoz says: Sep 10, 2012 5:16 AM

    Big Ben and Haley’s offense, not a good match, hard times ahead for Steeler Nation !

  23. sudz28 says: Sep 10, 2012 5:58 AM

    I don’t get the comment about Dwyer, saying “…he nearly Tebowed at the 2-yard line…” What is this supposed to mean? Did he suddenly stop, drop down on one knee and start praying or something?

  24. pastabelly says: Sep 10, 2012 6:11 AM

    Tom Brady is still better than Manning or Roethlisberger.

  25. pftcensorssuck says: Sep 10, 2012 6:53 AM

    peytonsneck18 says:Sep 10, 2012 1:48 AM

    how’d your QB do, Irsay?

    it was one game and his first game as a rookie, get a life !!!
    ———————————————————-
    Yeah, and it was only Manning’s first game back after three neck surgeries and a year out of football.

    Shut up.

  26. jpb12 says: Sep 10, 2012 7:07 AM

    Manning also took a big hit from behind. Driven into the ground.

    He can also take a hit.

  27. bigbluefan1 says: Sep 10, 2012 7:10 AM

    Like most fans I had to see if Payton was back and yes he is.

    I now know what was missing all last season Payton my not have the best arm but he is the smartest QB to play the game

  28. blackandbluedivision says: Sep 10, 2012 8:24 AM

    “worked it fast and he worked it slow, looking sharp on long drives and the shortest ones.”

    That’s what she said.

  29. karla36 says: Sep 10, 2012 9:17 AM

    Love Peyton and even more today. It’s a great day in Pittsburgh. Just waiting to start hearing all of the excuses!

  30. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:01 AM

    I had said before the game that because of the Steelers’ revamped defense, the Steelers’ offense might have to score 30 or more points…
    While Roethlisberger and Co. did a terrific job of keeping Manning off the field, they did what they usually do: Failed for finish drives with TOUCHDOWNS.
    The NFL is a scoring league.
    Roethlisberger is gifted at extending plays. But because the Steelers’ defense may no longer be able to hold opponents to 20 or fewer points, Roethlisberger may now have to actually FINISH drives.

  31. raideralex99 says: Sep 10, 2012 4:15 PM

    Manning is back but not 100% … A few of those throws were fluttering … That’s not the Peyton I know.

  32. realfann says: Sep 10, 2012 4:29 PM

    You really got to stop Petey King writing under your name. This stuff is garbage.

  33. blackngold4life says: Sep 10, 2012 5:09 PM

    Revamped? Only new position is Lewis at CB..Let me explain something..Offence is about timing..and the Steelers “Defence” has been out of sink since late last year ( over 500 yards ) given up in last 2 games. When you can’t pressure the QB up the middle, u have to use youre MLBs to help..that leaves the Middle of the field open.to make it worse they play LeBeaus SOFT zone defence..DBs already 20 yards off the ball..not hard to run outs and slants the whole game and that’s what’s going on with the Steeler D..plus Troy is maken real bad decisions lately.Offence playd well between the 20s but faild to score TDs once again..New year Same Steelers

  34. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 10, 2012 5:27 PM

    blackngold4life:
    Before you start lecturing me on Football 101, first you need to learn how to spell the words “offense” and “defense.”
    Secondly, without James Harrison and Ryan Clark in the lineup, that’s HUGE and makes the defense REVAMPED.
    Plus, the leadership that departed James Farrior brought to the team was inmeasurable.
    Face facts: The days of the defense carrying the offense are over.

  35. eightysixisback says: Sep 11, 2012 9:51 AM

    Yeah the steelers are going to be terrible, its over for them. It sucks that the season is over already, i only got to see one of their games this year.
    IT WAS THE FIRST GAME! The steelers lost on the road to a team that is going to be very tough this year. Denver has a good defense again(they scored 18 or less in most of their wins last year oh but i forgot it was tebow who won those games for them, haha) and now they have a real QB. They are going to beat a lot of teams this year. The steelers offense is going to be fine. They have some work to do to get everyone on the same page with Haley but all things considered they didn’t look bad against a very good defense. It is a little early to start the whole the steelers defense is going to be terrible stuff again. Not trying to be disrespectful to a fellow steelers fan but blackngold4life unless your nephew happens to be a good NFL QB he wouldn’t complete those passes against the Steelers defense, lol. The defense didn’t look great but they didn’t look terrible, Manning played well. He is going to make a lot of defenses look a lot worse this year than the steelers looked

  36. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 12, 2012 6:11 AM

    eightysix:
    I’d be inclined to agree with you, except for one thing: The Steelers’ offense hasn’t been “fine” for a few seasons now…
    Twentyone teams scored more points than the Steelers on Week 1. The NFL is a scoring league, which means defenses have been fazed out, including the Steelers’ D.
    If the Steelers are to qualify for the playoffs, they are going to have to score some points … via touchdowns, not field goals.

  37. blackngold4life says: Sep 12, 2012 11:59 AM

    Eightysix: lol I was just being sarcastic, were not use to the Steelers D giving up yards like this..but I stand by my observations about that zone defense. QBs have way too much time to thow the ball against them, their not getting beat deep, but their giving up like 6-7 yards per pass play usually on 1st and 2nd down. Either the front 7 has to get more pressure on the QBs or LeBeau has to trust his DBs to be more aggressive like he did against the Patriots last season. On the O side of the ball, makes no sence to control the clock if all your going to get in the end is 3 pts..Sunday lookd like a pre-season game, Midas well kept Arians, never thought I’d say that. Good thing is its one game hope the staff looks at the film and makes the required adjustments,cause that wont fly against the NFC East teams on the schedule

  38. denverscott says: Sep 14, 2012 7:13 PM

    Congrats to Denver on their win. (Strange seeing Peyton in orange again) I don’t understand why some people think the Broncos have no chance.

    On a completely unrelated note, we just hit 30 days without an arrest :)

    WOW, another Oakland fan! Raiders would sell out their games if they would just increase the range of their home arrest anklets. Just saying…. ’cause it’s true.

  39. denverscott says: Sep 14, 2012 7:17 PM

    Eightysix: lol I was just being sarcastic, were not use to the Steelers D giving up yards like this..but I stand by my observations about that zone defense. QBs have way too much time to thow the ball against them, their not getting beat deep, but their giving up like 6-7 yards per pass play usually on 1st and 2nd down. Either the front 7 has to get more pressure on the QBs or LeBeau has to trust his DBs to be more aggressive like he did against the Patriots last season. On the O side of the ball, makes no sence to control the clock if all your going to get in the end is 3 pts..Sunday lookd like a pre-season game, Midas well kept Arians, never thought I’d say that. Good thing is its one game hope the staff looks at the film and makes the required adjustments,cause that wont fly against the NFC East teams on the schedule

    Repeat… no, type after me “They’re”. Try it again “They’re” no not there, or their, “They’re” as in They’re not going to win because They’re not Denver. Class over.

  40. denverscott says: Sep 14, 2012 7:23 PM

    blackngold4life says: Sep 10, 2012 5:09 PM

    Revamped? Only new position is Lewis at CB..Let me explain something..Offence is about timing..and the Steelers “Defence” has been out of sink since late last year ( over 500 yards ) given up in last 2 games. When you can’t pressure the QB up the middle, u have to use youre MLBs to help..that leaves the Middle of the field open.to make it worse they play LeBeaus SOFT zone defence..DBs already 20 yards off the ball..not hard to run outs and slants the whole game and that’s what’s going on with the Steeler D..plus Troy is maken real bad decisions lately.Offence playd well between the 20s but faild to score TDs once again..New year Same Steelers

    Steelers fans are “out of sink”. Dude, did the short bus stop outside your house or did you have to run and catch it… out of sink… hehehehe Make way for ElTardo or I will sink you! Synch idiot. “My Apple Ipne will sink with your dishwasher, bet it.

  41. denverscott says: Sep 14, 2012 7:25 PM

    My side hurts now. Pity the fool dat wants to be sinked!

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