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Peyton Manning, Tracy Porter magnificent in Broncos debuts
Their Denver debut Sunday night was a success thanks to Manning’s magnificent return from a year’s absence and Porter’s 43-yard interception return for a score that sealed their 31-19 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Porter, who also had eight tackles and broke up five passes — the most by a Denver defender in 11 seasons — stepped in front and took it to the house.
“There’s a safety over the top so I’m aggressive on anything short,” Porter said. “The quarterback tried to fit it in there and I just made a play on the ball. Any defensive back playing opposite Champ (Bailey) is going to get the work. I just made the most of my opportunity.”
“I should’ve called timeout,” Roethlisberger said. “The play clock was running down, I hate to burn timeouts. I should’ve. We were kind of all over the place.
“There’s no one to blame but myself. I already told my teammates and coaches that it’s my fault. It’s on me. It’s disappointing. I hate to let my team down, my coaches, the fans. That loss is squarely on my shoulders. I’ll take that and get better and learn from it.”
After 1 year, 8 months and 2 days away from the game, Manning couldn’t wait to resume his career, but Roethlisberger was determined to keep him on the sideline, giving the Steelers more than a 10-minute advantage in time of possession.
Whenever he was between the lines, Manning was masterful, finishing with a 129.2 passer rating.
The four-time MVP coming off four neck surgeries that wiped out his final season in Indianapolis last year completed 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked twice and bounced up both times without trouble.
Manning, jettisoned by the Colts in March after missing all of last season with a nerve injury that weakened his throwing arm, took just two snaps in the third quarter. But one was a 71-yard touchdown throw to Demaryius Thomas, Manning’s first as a Bronco and the 400th of his career.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
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- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
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