Peyton Manning banged his right thumb on an opponent's helmet just before halftime Sunday night, and the Denver Broncos took a 17-7 halftime lead over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
After directing a 98-yard TD drive and throwing a 13-yard scoring pass to Eric Decker, Manning was sandwiched on a safety blitz while completing a 23-yard pass to Decker.
He handed off four straight times after that, then overthrew Demaryius Thomas in the left corner of the end zone. After a short toss to Brandon Stokley, the Broncos settled for Matt Prater's 33-yard field goal as the first half ended.
Manning didn't appear to be bothered by the thumb while warming up for the second half, however.
Brees threw a 29-yard scoring strike to Darren Sproles on the first play of the second quarter, tying the game at 7. It was Brees' 300th career touchdown, tying him with John Elway for sixth-most in league annals, and it extended his NFL record to 50 straight games with a TD pass.
In the first matc...