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Peyton Manning gives the Denver Broncos 'hope'

Peyton Manning's performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers was the story of Week 1. It announced to the rest of the NFL that Manning's Denver Broncos will be difficult to handle. Manning proved to himself he's still got it.

On NFL Replay
NFL Replay
will re-air the Denver Broncos' 31-19 win over the Pittsburgh  Steelers in Week 1 on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

More than anything, Manning gave his Broncos teammates and the city of Denver reason to believe this year, this era could be something special. The operative word after the game was hope.

"It gives you hope," Broncos executive John Elway told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. "As a player, that's what you want -- to be able to have that hope, to know you're on a good, legitimate team that can compete week in and week out. And with Peyton, we have that."

"(Manning) gives everybody hope," wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said. "Everybody. I don't care who you are."

Manning tried to dampen the excitement at times during his media session. He pointed out it's only one game.

"Somebody asked [in the postgame news conference] if I felt vindicated," Manning said. "I don't know what that meant. It's just one game. I still have a long way to go. I still have limitations I'm dealing with, and I'm trying to play with them, and the team is feeling itself out in the process."

Manning's effort to curb your enthusiasm is understandable. Predictable. But it's not going to work when the guys around him are more excited than anyone. Why wouldn't they be?

"There've been so many questions -- we've been talking about it for six months," Elway said. "Well, you just saw that Peyton Manning has a lot of football left in him. I'm just glad to have him here with us.

"I'll put all my money on him."

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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