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Matt Ryan, Falcons pass on Peyton Manning fairy tale

The Atlanta Falcons made certain the Peyton Manning Comeback Tour won't be without its share of adversity.

Manning's three first-quarter interceptions set the tone for a frustrating evening for the Denver Broncos, who couldn't overcome a 20-point first-half deficit on the road.

Here's what else we learned in the Falcons' 27-21 win:

» Kudos to Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and an opportunistic secondary for turning the deep middle into a disaster zone for Manning. The quarterback attempted three passes in that area in the first eight minutes. All three headed the other way.

»Falcons safety William Moore had a career night, filling up the box score with eight tackles, an interception, one forced fumble, two passes defended and a key fourth-quarter sack. As the numbers indicate, he was everywhere Atlanta needed him to be.

» The Falcons' offensive line did a great job all night. Sam Baker acquitted himself very well on an island against Elvis Dumervil. Von Miller sacked Matt Ryan just once.

»Julio Jones gets the press, but Roddy White remains damn good at his job. Some of the explosion has left his legs, but he's seamlessly transitioned his game. Call him the Reggie Wayne of the NFC South.

» That's now 100 touchdown passes in 64 career games for Matt Ryan. Not too shabby.

»Tony Gonzalez might not be as quick as he was in the days of dial-up Internet, but the NFL's version of Mariano Rivera still can dunk it over the goalpost with the best of them. Take note, Vernon.

»Demaryius Thomas' touchdown catch late in the first half for the Broncos featured some of the nicest end zone footwork you'll ever see.

» Yet another shaky performance by replacement referees, who nearly caused Twitter to explode during a rough first half. It took two hours for the game to reach halftime. That can't happen.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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