Peyton Manning and the Broncos have never lost their sense of direction this season. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

Oh, those Thursday night games.

Peyton Manning admitted that, the older he gets, the harder the turnaround is after playing on Sunday, but the Denver Broncos and Knowshon Moreno still managed to run over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night. Manning chipped in 310 yards passing in a 26-13 victory in Oakland in a victory that was the Broncos’ eighth straight. At 10-3, they have trampled the AFC West’s other teams, who have all of nine wins combined. 

Manning and the Broncos weren’t perfect — they were only 2-for-7 in the red zone against the league’s worst scoring defense. Manning, 36, promised the team would “work on it. I think we will get it fixed.”

At 36, Manning missed all of the 2011 season and admits that a short week isn’t as easy as it was 10 years ago. 

“We talk about getting better,” Manning said (via the Denver Post). “All the other stuff, that’s not what we talk about. If we get better each week, we’ll see what happens from there.”

Manning passed for a touchdown and, for the 70th time, topped 300 yards in a game. He also reached 5,000 completions, joining Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks to reach that level. Manning accomplished it faster and now has had 12 seasons of at least 10 victories. (In his other two seasons, he lost at least 10 games.)

The Raiders, with only three wins this season, had their moments, both competent and comical. Darren McFadden came back from an ankle injury and popped a 36-yard run, then scored on a touchdown pass from Carson Palmer. Later, he reinjured the ankle and the Raiders, after trailing only 13-7 at halftime, couldn’t keep up. And wide receiver Denarius Moore drew some cackles for hauling in a pass, getting up and briefly running the wrong way. 

Now, Manning, who completed 26-of-36 passes, and the old guys have a little extra time to rest up for next week’s game against the Ravens in Baltimore. The Ravens should have Ray Lewis back and the teams will be playing for a playoff bye.

“I think the guys are tired,” said Manning, who chose wisely when picking the team he’d play for as a free agent back in the spring. “They can use these next three days to get your mental rest, your physical rest, and get recharged.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.


Manning: “The Broncos were just a great fit”

Watch: Manning’s body of comedic work

Manning: “I’ll always be a Colt”

Tony Dungy traces Manning’s neck problems to 2006 game against Redskins

Did Manning have a fourth surgery?