Sun Sentinel
National Football League
PRESEASON
12345
REGULAR SEASON
12345
678910
1112131415
1617   
PLAYOFFS
123PBSB
 
             === Manning outduels Brees as Broncos crush Saints ===
 
 Denver,  CO  (Sports Network) - Peyton  Manning threw for three touchdowns and
 Willis  McGahee  rushed for another as  the Denver Broncos rolled over the New
 Orleans Saints, 34-14, on Sunday.
 
 Manning  completed 22-of-30  passes for 305 yards, while McGahee finished with
 122  yards  on 23 carries for  the Broncos (4-3),  who have won three of their
 last four and now own sole possession of first place in the AFC West.
 
 Demaryius  Thomas caught seven balls for a game-high 137 yards and a touchdown
 in the victory.
 
 Drew  Brees  went 22-for-42 through the  air for 213 yards with two touchdowns
 and  an interception  for New Orleans (2-5), which had its two-game win streak
 snapped.
 
 It  was the  first game for New  Orleans under new interim coach Joe Vitt, who
 was  suspended  for the  season's first  six games for  his involvement in the
 Saints' bounty case.
 
 Aaron Kromer guided the team through the first part of the season.
 
 Denver  started its second  possession of the game at its own 2-yard line, and
 following  four  straight runs by McGahee,  Manning found Thomas deep down the
 middle for a 41-yard gain.
 
 After  McGahee had a 15-yard touchdown catch overturned when a review revealed
 his  knee hit the ground at the one before he could extend the ball across the
 goal  line, the  running back capped the  11-play trek on the next snap with a
 rush off the right side for a 7-0 lead with 4:39 left in the first quarter.
 
 The  Saints  were held to  a three-and-out on  the ensuing possession and were
 forced  to punt from deep inside their own territory, resulting in the Broncos
 regaining the ball at the New Orleans' 48.
 
 But  three plays later, McGahee had the ball punched out of his hands by Akiem
 Hicks and the Saints recovered at their own 45-yard line.
 
 New  Orleans was  able to capitalize on  the turnover on the first play of the
 second  quarter  when Darren Sproles  caught a short  pass over the middle and
 raced 29 yards into the end zone.
 
 The  Saints opted  to  go for  a  4th-and-2 at  the Denver  47  on their  next
 possession,  but Brees  was intercepted by a leaping Wesley Woodyard on a pass
 attempt over the middle, giving the Broncos the ball at their own 44.
 
 Manning  connected with  Thomas  for a  34-yard  gain on  the  next play  from
 scrimmage  to move the ball deep into New Orleans territory before Eric Decker
 capped  the 5-play march with a 13-yard reception in the right side of the end
 zone.
 
 Denver took over on offense at its own 13 following a Saints punt, and Manning
 had  completions  of 19 and  23 yards to  McGahee and Decker, respectively, to
 move  the ball across midfield, setting up Matt Prater's 33-yard field goal as
 time expired in the half for a 17-7 lead at the break.
 
 The  Broncos received the ball to start the third quarter and quickly added to
 their  lead with an 11-play, 93-yard drive highlighted by Ronnie Hillman's 31-
 yard  run and capped with Thomas' 1-yard touchdown grab in the front corner of
 the end zone.
 
 Denver  later  started a drive  at its own 49-yard  line following a series of
 punts, and Jacob Tamme reeled off a 23-yard gain on a screen pass before a 23-
 yard reception by Thomas placed the ball at the New Orleans five.
 
 Two plays later, Decker hauled in a 2-yard touchdown for a 31-7 advantage with
 14:54 left in the game.
 
 After  Prater connected  on  a 33-yard  field goal  with  5:27 remaining,  New
 Orleans  converted a pair of fourth downs during a 13-play, 80-yard march that
 Jimmy Graham finished off with an 18-yard touchdown grab.
 
 The  Saints then  failed to recover an  onside kick and Denver was able to run
 out the majority of the clock.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Manning recorded his 37th career game with at least three touchdown passes and
 no interceptions, breaking his tie with Brett Favre for the most such games in
 NFL  history  ... Brees'  touchdowns were  the 300th and  301st of his career,
 moving  him past  Hall of Famer John  Elway for fifth most all-time ... Decker
 has  a touchdown  reception in  four straight  games ...  Denver has  won four
 straight meetings between the teams and leads the all-time series, 8-2.
 
 
 10/29 00:19:50 ET