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Peyton Manning has great return to NFL in Broncos wins

DENVER -- After 611 days away, Peyton Manning couldn't wait to get on the field. But Ben Roethlisberger seemed determined to keep him on the sideline.

Manning overcame Pittsburgh's 10-minute advantage in time of possession and led a hurry-up offense that helped the Broncos beat the Steelers, 31-19, last night in his Denver debut.

At one point, Roethlisberger took 30 snaps to Manning's one during two drives that spanned halftime. Pittsburgh had an 11-for-19 conversion rate.

Manning, coming off four neck surgeries, completed 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards and two TDs. He took just two snaps in the third quarter, but one was a 71-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas, the 400th of his career. He reached the milestone in his 208th career game. Dan Marino did it in his 227th game and Brett Favre in his 228th.

"I love those guys," Manning said. "Brett and Dan are two of my favorite quarterbacks of all time. I don't feel like I belong in their category. But to be sort of mentioned among them is a true honor."-- AP

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