INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Peyton Manning failed Sunday night in his first game against his former team.
All the 37-year-old ex-Indianapolis Colts quarterback can do now is hope for a second chance.
On a night Andrew Luck, Manning's successor, threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, the Denver Broncos committed four turnovers and lost for the first time this season, 39-33.
"This is a game we need to learn from," Manning said. "We, I guess, had four turnovers and still somehow had a chance to win that game. I would have liked to have seen it go to a two-point game down there toward the end and see what would have happened, but it never quite got to that point. We certainly have to improve from this game because we weren't as sharp execution-wise as we'd like to be."
It certainly showed how vulnerable the Broncos (6-1) are at the moment.
Already playing without their starting left tackle and center, they juggled the offensive line again. This time, Manning was hit 10 times, sacked four times, lost a fumble and threw an interception — the last two when his arm was hit before he could get rid of the ball cleanly.
Running back Ronnie Hillman was stripped of the ball inside the Colts' 5-yard line late in the game on a series when the Broncos were down two scores.
Cornerback Champ Bailey, who had just returned to the lineup last week after missing the first five games with a left foot injury, departed in the first half after hurting the same foot. Coach John Fox didn't provide an update on the severity of the injury after the game.
Without Bailey, Luck managed to extend the lead and kept the pressure on Manning all game.
And dynamic kick returner Trindon Holliday fumbled twice, losing one that led to an Indianapolis (5-2) touchdown.