Ap file Photo
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning watches play from the sidelines against the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter an NFL game, in Denver on Sept. 29. Manning returns to Indianapolis on Sunday a better quarterback than the one who left.
It’s unanimous for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, even after their shakiest performance of the season.
Denver received all 12 first-place votes for the first time in the AP Pro32 rankings released Tuesday.
The Broncos (6-0) struggled with winless Jacksonville until scoring the last two touchdowns in a 35-19 victory Sunday.
Manning matched his season low with two TD passes against the Jaguars but still has a record 22 through six games heading into Sunday night’s return to Indianapolis, where Andrew Luck is in charge of the Colts’ offense now.
“Coming to Peyton’s Place should bring out the best in Mr. Manning,” wrote Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.
No. 2 Seattle (5-1) and third-ranked Kansas City (6-0) are separated by just two points. Both teams moved up one spot.
The Seahawks won their 11th straight at home, 20-13 over Tennessee.
“They keep winning and overcoming injuries in the offensive line,” wrote Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News. “Their defense and run game will keep them in every game.”
The Chiefs had just 216 yards of offense in a 24-7 win over Oakland but intercepted Terrelle Pryor three times and had 10 sacks to give them 31 for the season.
“Not much to look at when they play offense, but it is must-see TV on defense,” wrote Herm Edwards of ESPN.
New England jumped from seventh to fourth after handing New Orleans its first loss 30-27 on Tom Brady’s last-second touchdown pass. The Saints, who were second a week ago with the only other first-place vote, dropped to fifth.
The Patriots and Brady got another chance in the final 2 minutes after Drew Brees and the Saints couldn’t run out the clock following an interception by Keenan Lewis with 2:16 remaining.
“That pained expression of Rob Ryan on the sidelines said it all, as his Saints’ defense can’t hold off Brady at the end,” wrote Bob Glauber of Newsday.
San Francisco kept the No. 6 spot, and the Colts dropped two spots to seventh after a 19-9 loss at San Diego. Green Bay stayed No. 8 and Cincinnati at ninth, while Detroit moved up a spot to round out the top 10.
Chicago climbed a spot to No. 11 and was followed by Baltimore, Dallas and Miami.
San Diego and Philadelphia were 15th and 16th with the two of the biggest jumps of the week. The Chargers moved up from 20th, and the Eagles climbed from No. 22.
Tennessee and Arizona were 17th and 18th, with the New York Jets and St. Louis tied at 19th. The Rams moved up six spots from No. 25.
Cleveland dropped five spots to 21st, and Carolina jumped six spots to No. 22, followed by Buffalo, Atlanta and Houston, which fell from 19th to 25th with its fourth consecutive loss.
“The biggest mystery team in the NFL,” wrote Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio and CBSSports.com.
Pittsburgh jumped three spots to 26th after its first win, followed by Oakland, Washington, Minnesota.
The league’s three winless teams held the bottom three spots — the New York Giants, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville.
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