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Peyton Manning, Broncos survive Dolphins' best shot

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The Broncos took Miami's best shot on Sunday, and withstood it. Here's what you need to know from Denver's 39-36 victory over the Dolphins:

1. The Broncos' offense could not have played much better. They had the ball nine times, punting only once, with no turnovers. If not for a short missed field-goal attempt, the Broncos would have put up a 40-burger on one of the NFL's best defenses. Peyton Manning finished the game with four touchdowns.

2. Denver adapted to their recent offensive line struggles with dinks and dunks. They kept extra protection in when they dialed up some big plays, and Manning did not face much pressure against Miami's talented front seven. The Dolphins only had one QB hit and one sack on the day.

3. Miami's offense put up three first-half touchdowns due to Ryan Tannehill's locked in play. He made smart decisions, was accurate and was throwing well on the move. He couldn't quite sustain that pace in a game where he had no margin for error. An interception on a tipped pass in the fourth quarter was too much to overcome. Tannehill played well enough to win.

4. Manning was very patient, sticking with the running game even when the team trailed in the first half. C.J. Anderson responded with 191 yards on 31 total touches.

5. The play of the game: A 35-yard completion to Emmanuel Sanders on third-and-20 late in the first half. Dolphins cornerback Jimmy Wilson bit badly on a double move. If the Dolphins' defense stops that play, they go into halftime up 21-10 at worst.

6. Don't rule out the Dolphins' playoff chances at 6-5. This remains a balanced team that is playing well of late. They can absolutely win 10 games. This loss was on their defense, but they aren't far from the AFC elite. 

7. The Broncos stay alive for the No. 1 seed at 8-3. More importantly, they can take control of the AFC West next Sunday night in Kansas City.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Sunday game from Week 12 and discusses Ryan Tannehill's progression. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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