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SportsColumnistsBob Glauber

Peyton Manning, Johnny Manziel and other NFL news and notes

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls a

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls a play from the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City , Mo., Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Charlie Riedel

Observations and thoughts:

Peyton Manning looked lost in Gary Kubiak's offensive system in a Week 1 game against the Ravens, and he was equally ineffective in the first half against the Chiefs on Thursday night. Finally, Kubiak came to his senses at halftime and had Manning go no-huddle and use the system he has flourished with over a remarkable career. Memo to Kubiak: Don't go back now. Manning gives Denver its only chance at winning a Super Bowl, so no sense making him change his ways after 18 seasons just to run your system.

Here's the problem I have with Johnny Manziel: It's fine for a quarterback to use his mobility when the pass rush flushes him out of the pocket. But Manziel's default reaction to the first hint of pressure is to scramble, rather than continue with the progression of reading his receivers' routes. That's a problem in a league where defensive players are so much faster than the ones he faced at Texas A & M. Look, I want Manziel to succeed, because the NFL is better when the quarterbacks can play at a high level. But Manziel, like Tim Tebow before him, can't win by tucking the ball and running.

DeMarco Murray says he is "emotionless" about facing his old Cowboys team when the Eagles host Dallas in a huge early-season NFC East matchup at Lincoln Financial Field. Sure. Murray not only gets his first shot at the team that refused to match the Eagles' five-year, $40 million free agent offer, but he does so after an embarrassingly poor performance against the Falcons last Sunday night (eight carries, nine yards). Hey, Chip. Give this man some carries ...

Yes, Marcus Mariota is the goods. He won't often finish with a perfect rating like the one he produced in his debut against fellow Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, but the guy has what it takes to be a top-flight NFL quarterback. Thought back to what former Cowboys personnel director Gil Brandt told me about Mariota in February: "Mariota has all the characteristics that lead to success. I think the guy will translate and be really good." Agreed.

Aaron Donald is only in his second year, but he's already being touted as one of the best -- if not THE best -- defensive tackles in the NFL. With good reason. Donald made the Pro Bowl as a rookie with nine sacks, and he's off to a terrific start with nine tackles and two sacks in last week's upset of the Seahawks. Phenomenal talent.

The Bills took plenty of criticism for releasing venerable running back Fred Jackson, a fan favorite. But this is a business where younger and cheaper usually wins out over older and costlier. That's why the Bills went with rookie Karlos Williams over the 34-year-old Jackson, who wound up signing with the Seahawks. Williams could factor in more than expected early on because of LeSean McCoy's hamstring issues. The rookie out of Florida State had a nice start in last week's 27-14 win over the Colts with six carries for 55 yards and a touchdown ...

Credit Texans coach Bill O'Brien with cutting his losses after giving up early on Brian Hoyer as his starting quarterback. At 29, Hoyer isn't going to get markedly better than he already is. And even though O'Brien's plan was to wait several games before considering a change, he has already elevated Ryan Mallett as the starter. Younger player, better arm. Bigger upside. Right call ...

Still think the Vikings are a team on the rise, even if they stunk in the opener against the 49ers. Coach Mike Zimmer was right to openly question whether his team bought into the preseason hype too much. "Maybe we're just not ready for prime time yet." Zimmer is from the Bill Parcells coaching tree, and one of Parcells' biggest warnings to players: "Don't take the cheese." In other words, don't take the bait when people are saying nice things about you, because it might make you too complacent.

I think the world of Joe Flacco, one of the best downfield throwers in the game. But if I'm a Ravens fan, I wonder -- and worry -- about offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, the former Bears coach. When you get Flacco to openly suggest after just one game that the Ravens have to throw it down the field more, that tells me Trestman, whose journey as an NFL offensive coordinator was filled with criticism, is going to be an issue all season ...

Fantastic Sunday night game between the Seahawks and Packers, a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game. Give the edge to the Packers, especially at home, where Aaron Rodgers owns one of the most remarkable stats ever: Aaron Rodgers hasn't thrown an interception at Lambeau Field since Dec. 2, 2012. That's more than TWO FULL SEASONS.

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