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Next-Day Notebook: Teammates rally around Manning


Broncos rally around Manning**

Quarterback Peyton Manning struggled in his record-breaking game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

While he passed legendary quarterback Brett Favre for all-time passing yardage, Manning struggled to connect with his receivers, tossing four interceptions and completing five of 20 passes for 35 yards.

Listed on the pregame injury report because of injuries to his foot and rib cage, Manning was pulled from the game in the third quarter and replaced by backup quarterback Brock Osweiler.

But while it may have been easy for the Broncos to be critical of Manning, the locker room was more than supportive of its veteran quarterback.

"That's the sheriff. He has a great legacy of doing great things," said outside linebacker Von Miller. "He's our leader. Today was just a rough day. It's the National Football League. We got beat. There is some stuff that we're going to work on to get better at and you have my word on that."

Osweiler was able to inject life into the Broncos offense and after leading two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, he halted a possible shutout loss – which would have been the first at home in franchise history.

"Right now, Peyton is our quarterback," Osweiler said. "I could sit here and speak for everyone in the locker room and say: We all support him 100 percent. He's been one hell of a leader and a football player for this team for a lot of years. I stand 100 percent behind him and I do not expect to be the starter."

"At the end of the day, Peyton is one of those players that is going to bounce back," said wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. "I know all week he's been battling injuries and been in the training room the whole time. That's no excuse and he's not going to let it be an excuse, but we just have to keep working. That's all I can say. It is what it is."

- Allie Raymond


Youth gives glimpse of potential**

The Broncos offense that ended the game was much different from the one that began it. From Osweiler under center to WRs Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler on either end of the formation, to the young players on the line, the group was one that has been considered to hold the cards for the future.

Osweiler played fairly well, personally accounting for eight first downs in the third and fourth quarters. He was able to scramble out of collapsing pockets and found receivers in tight windows to complete 14 of 24 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an interception and was sacked three times. This was the first significant game action since he played the fourth quarter in last year's regular-season finale against Oakland.

The Broncos fell to AFC West foe Kansas City at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

"I felt pretty comfortable out there," Osweiler said. "Obviously, I have to go back and look at the tape [Monday]. I'm sure there were some plays where I could have done something better or made a completion or stuck with a progression, but it felt pretty good to be back out there."

Latimer also had a solid late-game performance, making three catches for 30 yards. Latimer has seen some occasional action on offense, but most of his plays have come on special teams so far as he continues to hone his skills in the wide-receiver corps behind Pro Bowlers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

"Just being able to get my feet wet was good," Latimer said. "I just want to have the opportunity to make plays when called on. I just tried to make the best of it."

The offense didn't put together a game-saving comeback with the hole as deep as it was, but it did deliver two touchdowns, allowing the Broncos to avoid a shutout and showing a hint of what their young players can offer.

- Ben Swanson

The following promotion is available after Sunday's game:
- McDonald's is offering fans in Colorado one-dollar Big Mac sandwiches or one-dollar sausage egg McMuffins on Monday and 30 percent off any jersey in the Broncos team store.

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