Peyton Manning has Denver Broncos ready to take off


Peyton Manning already has proven he's still a top quarterback in the NFL. With the personal end covered, his next step is taking the Denver Broncos to the playoffs.

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Do you doubt him?

Manning easily outplayed Drew Brees on Sunday at Sports Authority Field, leading the Broncos to a 34-14 romp over the New Orleans Saints. The Broncos sit alone atop the AFC West with a 4-3 record.

Manning -- given ample time by his offensive line -- finished 22-of-30 passing for 305 yards and three touchdowns. The Broncos piled up more than 500 yards of total offense against a Saints defense that didn't look like it wanted to be in the building by midway through the third quarter.

Manning now has thrown 14 touchdown passes against only one interception since Week 3. Many wondered if he could be the same player we last saw in Indianapolis. He actually has been better.

The Broncos find themselves in a very good position as we spin forward. Only one team on their remaining schedule currently has a winning record, and the Broncos don't visit the 5-2 Baltimore Ravens until Week 15. Remaining opponents have a combined record of 21-36.

After facing the NFL's toughest stretch of six games to begin the season, the Broncos now have football's easiest schedule in their last 10 weeks. In other words, they're set up for the type of double-digit win season that was customary during Manning's legendary run with the Indianapolis Colts.

Manning hasn't received the credit he deserves for what he accomplished these first two months in Denver. Expect that to change when the Broncos begin to pile up victories down the stretch.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.