In last year's opener, Manning made NFL history with seven touchdown passes. He wasn't nearly that dominant this time around, but the Broncos still look very much like a dynamic offensive team you can expect to put up 30-plus points on a weekly basis.
Ever the perfectionist, Manning will kick himself for two misfires on Denver's final possession that stopped the clock and gave Andrew Luck a chance. The errant throws were uncharacteristic of Manning and a reminder of his nearly perfect 2013 regular season. Delivering a worthy encore won't be easy.
The Broncos got key contributions from three newcomers. DeMarcus Ware proved himself to be worth the investment, at least for one week, tallying 1.5 sacks in his first game not wearing a Cowboys uniform. Aqib Talib had a tipped pass that led to Luck's only interception. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Sanders looks like a perfect fit in Denver's offense, covering well for the suspended Wes Welker. Sanders' diving 40-yard reception in the second quarter was a thing of a beauty.
This wasn't the dominant performance we've become accustomed to, but Denver remains the AFC's top dog until proven otherwise.