Denver Broncos beat Oakland Raiders 37-21 on Monday Night Football, September 23

Peyton Manning: Broncos making good plays

DENVER - Peyton Manning threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns Monday to lift the Denver Broncos to another easy victory, 37-21 over the Oakland Raiders.

The Broncos (3-0) have outscored opponents 127-71 this season.

Manning hit Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas for a score apiece.

Manning's 12 TD passes this season are an NFL record for the opening three games, breaking Tom Brady's mark of 11 in 2011. Manning has yet to throw an interception this year.

"I think he has, again, got started where he left off last year and improved on that," head coach John Fox said. "We added some weapons, I think personnel-wise our guys have brought in some guys that have helped us. And he’s an incredible player as far as the way he prepares and he communicates things to his teammates."

"This is a new season. It’s one week at a time," Manning said after the game. "But, guys are making good plays in the passing game and we are doing a good job getting yards after the catch. That makes a big difference. [WR] Eric [Decker], [WR] Wes [Welker], [WR Demaryius Thomas] ‘D.T.’ – catching some short passes – Eric’s, that was like an 18-yard comeback, but to break that tackle and take it for 50-60 yards – those are the types of plays that really help the drives get going."

However, Manning was not happy that several drives resulted in field goals instead of touchdowns.

"We had to settle for field goals with pretty good field position. That’s something we want to correct and fix," Manning said. "And then in the four-minute when you have a chance to win the game and keep the defense off the field, having the turnover there – that’s something you’ve got to correct."

Oakland's Terrelle Pryor finished 19 for 28 for 281 yards but played catch-up from the start. Oakland (1-2) trailed 17-0 before Pryor hit Denarius Moore for a 73-yard score.

Four plays later, Manning connected with Thomas for a 13-yard score to push the lead back to 17.

The Raiders came into Denver as the leading rushing team in the NFL. The Broncos were the number one rushing defense in the league.

"I thought defensively we really answered the bell versus the run this time out," Fox said. "They’re very capable, with a big physical offensive line. [RB Darren] McFadden has been a thorn in our side for some time over the last couple of years anyways. So that was pretty good."

"We still have a couple of ball security problems – one on a sack-fumble, and the other just laying it on the ground on the other. But I think finishing a minus-two [turnover margin] and still able to find a way to win the game was good. The guys answered the bell well that way," Fox explained.

-- Should the Broncos have pulled Manning late in the game?

Fox said the coaches did talk about whether to pull Manning late in the game.

"It crossed our minds," Fox said. "We talked about it – we talk about just about everything. After that one long drive, we thought about it but then we didn’t think it was very good timing."

Manning said he was part of the discussion.

"We were going to see what happened when Oakland got the ball," Manning said. "I think had we probably stopped them on a three-and-out there, [QB] Brock [Osweiler] was probably going in. They ended up having a drive all the way down to the goal line and we were backed up, then we stayed in there. It’s whatever the coach wants to do, I’m good with that."

-- Injury report

Defensive backs Duke Ihenacho and Tony Carter left the game with ankle injuries.

"Tony Carter, corner, left the game with a right ankle (injury), did not return," said Fox after the game. "Duke Ihenacho, kind of tweaked that right ankle that was a little sore on him last week. We just pulled him out to kind of save that ankle."

Linebacker Paris Lenon lso suffered a thigh bruise or strain it’s his left thigh, Fox said.

Cornerbacks Champ Bailey (foot) and Quentin Jammer (healthy scratch) were inactive.

-- What's next?

The Broncos players have the day off Tuesday. They'll return on Wednesday to prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles' visit next week.


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