Jenkins on Manning: 'He's very good with his eyes'
Peyton Manning has 12 touchdowns and no interceptions this season after dissecting the Raiders' defense on Monday night. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
DENVER – The Denver Broncos offense is a bullet train the Raiders couldn’t slow, let alone stop.
Quarterback Peyton Manning dissected a Raiders defense that started the season on a high. After the most accurate night in his storied career, Manning brought that unit back to Earth.
Manning completed 32-of-37 passes for 374 yards and three touchdowns, and broke an NFL record in the process. He’s the first player to throw 12 touchdown passes in his first three games, and he did so without throwing an interception.
He dominated because he had ample time to throw, a kiss of death when playing one of the best ever. He was sacked once – surprise, surprise, it forced a turnover – and was hit two other times.
You have to get to No. 18. If you can’t, you’re going to have a long night,” Raiders free safety Charles Woodson said. “We certainly did. That’s the focal point when you play Peyton Manning. Offensively, you’ve got to sustain drives to keep the ball out of his hands. When you don’t do that, you end up with a result like this one.”
The Broncos punted just once. They scored 17 unanswered points to start the game, and negated Raiders touchdowns when the game was relatively competitive.
The Raiders hoped to disrupt Manning with ornate, unpredictable blitzes that worked so well in previous weeks. They had to dial back a bit, because Manning continually exposed points of weakness.
“We had some blitzes that we anticipated to be able to run,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We weren’t able to get to it as much as we wanted to. That’s the thing about Manning. He makes it difficult to come after him because he has his plays up before you want to come up to him. We tried to mix it as well as we could, but obviously he was better than us today.”
Manning is in near-perfect sync with his receivers. Manning’s timing is unmatched, which allows the offense to run unabated.
“We’re trying to make good, smart decisions,” Manning said. “I think the guys are doing a good job getting open. They have a clock in their head about when to come out of breaks in different coverages. Protection has been good, so it gives you a chance to see the field and throw accurate footballs.”
The Raiders played better in weeks past, but couldn’t handle the Broncos and give the Raiders a chance to compete.
“You know that, when you play the Broncos, you don’t have room for error,” Woodson said. “Against Jacksonville, you do. With Peyton, you can’t have a lapse. He’s going to find your weakness and take you apart if you’re not fundamentally sound.”