Peyton Manning’s 3 TDs rally Broncos over Bengals 31-23

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CINCINNATI — Cornerback Terence Newman’s two interceptions — one in the end zone — gave the Bengals a chance to beat Peyton Manning for the first time.

All they ended up with was another chance wasted.

The four-time MVP stayed perfect against Cincinnati on Sunday, overcoming his two interceptions with three touchdown passes for a 31-23 victory that gave him yet another NFL record that measures calmness under pressure.

His 48th game-winning drive moved him ahead of Dan Marino for the NFL record and showed Denver (5-3) that he’s still got it when everything’s on the line.

“He is special at it,” coach John Fox said.

Especially when he’s playing the Bengals (3-5), who have failed every time they’ve faced him. Manning improved to 8-0 career against Cincinnati, throwing for at least three touchdowns in five of those games.

“It was pretty much all for naught,” Newman said. “One of our goals was to get more turnovers but at the same time, we didn’t make enough big plays down the stretch.”

Manning’s two second-half interceptions helped the Bengals pull ahead 20-17 early in the fourth quarter. That’s when Manningand the Broncos have been at their best.

Denver has outscored its opponents 103-23 in the final quarter, the biggest point differential in the league.

By contrast, the Bengals have struggled in the second half, a major factor in losing four straight.

“If we don’t get those things corrected, it’s going to be a long year,” Newman said. “We’re at the halfway point now and we’re a little behind, but there are still eight weeks left.”

This one’s going to sting for a little while because of how it got away at the end.

Manning threw a 1-yard touchdown to tight end Joel Dreessen that put Denver back ahead. After Andy Dalton underthrew a pass under pressure that was picked off by Champ Bailey, Manning put it away with a 4-yard pass to Eric Decker with 3:36 left.

Manning was 27 of 35 for 291 yards for a passer rating of 105.8. He came up 9 yards short of tying Steve Young’s NFL record of five straight games with 300 yards and three TDs passing.

After a neck injury threatened his career and ended his stay in Indianapolis, Manning has regained his touch with Denver. The Broncos have scored 37, 21, 35, 34 and 31 points in their past five games, winning four of them.

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