Veteran quarterback Peyton Manning tossed three touchdowns to carry the Denver Broncos to a 34-14 victory over the New Orleans Saints Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Manning completed 22 of 30 passes for 305 yards, leading the Broncos to six scoring drives of 42 yards or more en route to a second straight win that vaulted them on top of the AFC West with a 4-3 record.
Running back Willis McGahee contributed 122 ground yards on 23 carries with one touchdown while wide receiver Demaryius Thomas contributed 137 receiving yards on seven catches with one score for the Broncos.
"I thought we played fast tonight; played with a lot of tempo and had a lot of plays. I think we possessed the ball for a decent amount of time. Defense seemed fast out there as well, so I think we used the bye week to our advantage," Manning said.
The Saints (2-5) saw their two-game winning streak snapped after being outplayed on all fronts by the Broncos, who accumulated 530 total offensive yards compared to New Orleans' 252.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees went 22-for-42 for 213 yards with two touchdown passes but their rushing corps failed to deliver, gaining just 51 yards on 17 carries against the Broncos defensive, led by linebacker Wesley Woodyard.
Woodyard tallied 13 tackles and one interception while cornerback Champ Bailey added six solo tackles to shut down the Saints' running game.
"They are a good offense and we made some mistakes but the thing is we played hard as team, as a defense and that is what it is all about - being there for your teammates," said Woodyard.
Manning jumpstarted the Broncos offense with the game's longest drive - an 11-play, 98-yard attack - that led to a touchdown run by McGahee.
The Saints responded with a four-play, 55-yard drive capped by Brees' 29-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles to tie the count.
From there, it was all Denver. The Broncos scored 27 unanswered points from three touchdown passes from Manning and two field goals by Matt Prater before the Saints came up with their second touchdown with two minutes left.
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