Peyton Manning is aiming for two straight wins to start the season against the Falcons. Image courtesy of nbcsports.com
Atlanta comes in to the match as favourite, but Denver showed promising signs in its Week 1 win over Pittsburgh. Most importantly, Peyton Manning got through the game intact, and he gave plenty of reasons to believe he can be a real force this season after a 20-month layoff due to multiple neck surgeries.
The Falcons lost their best cornerback, Brent Grimes, in the win over Kansas City, which leaves a gaping hole in their secondary; not an ideal scenario when a man who has just thrown for his 400th career TD is coming to town. Manning and the Broncos had a lot of success last week when they went to the no-huddle against the Steelers, with the veteran going 15 of 19 in the hurry-up offence. The same ploy worked for Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan in the Falcons’ Week 1 win over the Chiefs. Don’t expect anything less than a high-scoring shootout between two pass-first teams that can put points on in a flash .
Being a cross-conference game, these teams have met on just twelve previous occasions. The Broncos lead the series 8-4 and have won four straight in Atlanta going back to 1979. Manning has a phenomenal record indoors on the road, having won 13 of 18 starts in domes or retractable-roof stadiums. Expect to see him firing early to wideouts Eric Decker , Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Stokley to free up some space for Willis McGahee to go to work in the backfield.
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