Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/20/12

Peyton Manning wasn't having any nonsense Wednesday -- "nonsense" in this case being any questions about the effectiveness of himself and the offense as a whole in the wake of a four-turnover performance Monday. At least on the surface, the 15-year veteran's confidence remained intact.

"It's not deterred at all, if you're insinuating that coming off the game," Manning said.

But going forward, the performance was a reminder that the offense is still a work in progress. A near-flawless final three quarters in Week 1 offered an indication that it was on -- or even ahead -- of schedule. The Falcons' success at disguising coverages and forcing mistakes not only was a wake-up call, but a template for future foes to follow -- including some daunting games against Houston, New England and resurgent San Diego in the next four games.

"The key is you want to win games as you are continuing to learn," Manning said. "We did that in the first game. We didn't do that this week. But I think there is that process of 3-4 defense, four-down defense, you know, different type of defense this week.

"We're learning, making those adjustments with different teammates, on the run and trying to find a way to get a win at the same time."

Manning didn't want to entertain any chatter about his three first-quarter interceptions -- "we're kind of past that at this point," he maintained -- nor did he believe that post-surgical arm strength had any bearing on the errant throws.

"Who's been talking about that?" Manning asked when the subject was broached. "Yeah, I am what I am, it is what it is, whatever expression is appropriate for that. So, I don't know what to tell you."

With Denver's offense still enduring growing pains, facing the league's top-ranked defense through two weeks offers no favors. Houston achieved its lofty status by drawing a pair of foes with inexperienced quarterbacks (Miami's Ryan Tannehill and Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert) in the first two games, so facing longtime nemesis Manning on Sunday represents at least as much a challenge for its defense as the Texans pose to Manning.

The Broncos can do many things and get by offensively. They can rely on short timing passes and throws outside the hashmarks, as they did in the final three quarters Monday, when the offense stabilized after its early hiccups. They can hand off to Willis McGahee, who on Monday had his eighth 100-yard game since joining the Broncos, matching Houston's Arian Foster for the most in the league the last two seasons. They can even have drives that stall after a first down or two.

What they can't have, however, is giveaways. That's what still rankles them as they move past Week 2 -- the notion that the loss was their own fault and could have easily been avoided, in spite of the challenges the Falcons and their raucous atmosphere provided.

"You just want to possess the ball a little bit longer, not put the defense in such a bad hole," said Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley. "If it's a seven-, eight-play drive and you have to punt, hopefully we pin them deep and the defense ends up getting the ball back real quick, but we can't put the defense in a bind like we did."

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Masahiro Tanaka joins Yankees legends with dominant Game 5 start

Willson Contreras admires his work after crushing 491-foot home run

Jeremy Lin to have knee injury evaluated amid ‘tremendous concern’

Bulls' Mirotic out 4-6 weeks, Portis suspended eight games

Gordon Hayward to undergo surgery Wednesday night

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh defends quarterbacks from blame for Michigan’s struggles

Gronk: Patriots told not to discuss Super Bowl LI this week

Vikings backup QB: Bridgewater looked normal in return to practice

Carmelo Anthony: Phil Jackson wanted 'to trade me for a bag of chips'

Tampa named official host of Super Bowl LV in 2021

Bill Belichick dubs Rob Gronkowski 'Twinkle toes' after last week's TD

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker