The dinged-up thumb. The New Orleans defense.
Neither came close to slowing down Peyton Manning on Sunday night.
Despite banging his throwing thumb on an opponent's helmet in the second quarter, Manning passed for 305 yards and three scores, led a pair of 90-plus-yard touchdown drives and easily outplayed Drew Brees to lead the Denver Broncos to a 34-14 victory over the Saints.
Manning surpassed the 300-yard mark for the fifth straight time to match his personal best and set a franchise record for Denver (4-3). He completed 22 of 30 throws for a passer rating of 138.9. Willis McGahee ran for 122 yards and a score for the Broncos, who won two in a row for the first time this season and took sole possession of first place in the AFC West.
''It's fine,'' Manning said about his thumb. ''As a quarterback, your biggest fear is hitting your hand on the helmet of a defensive lineman. It's mostly the nail. Might be sore tomorrow.''
The Broncos gained 530 yards - a season high - against ...