DENVER – There was no slowing down Peyton Manning, even without two of his favorite receivers.
Manning threw for three touchdowns despite the absence of Anthony Gonzalez and Pierre Garcon, and the Colts beat the crestfallen Denver Broncos 27-13 Sunday.
The Broncos (1-2) were playing with heavy hearts after the death of teammate Kenny McKinley.
There was a moment of silence before kickoff in honor of the 23-year-old receiver who died last Monday at his home near team headquarters. Sheriffs department investigators believe McKinley killed himself with a .45-caliber pistol because he was depressed after his second straight season-ending knee surgery.
Kenny, hes resting in peace right now. I think were going to leave it at that, Mario Haggan said. Hell be with us forever. Im not a big advocate on dedicating a football game to someone, but hell always be in my heart and forever a good guy and a teammate.
Several members of the organization, including some players, will fly to his funeral in Georgia today.
Kyle Orton, a former Purdue standout, threw for a career-best 476 yards on 37-of-57 passing and the Broncos outgained the Colts (2-1) by more than 150 yards. But they failed to get into the end zone on five trips inside the 20-yard line, settling for two field goals and turning over the ball on downs three times.
The guys might have bent a little along the way, but they certainly didnt break, Colts coach Jim Caldwell said. They got stingy down in the red zone.
The Broncos might have gotten greedy, eschewing field-goal attempts twice when the outcome was still in doubt.
We convert those, were geniuses and were all great players, Denver receiver Brandon Lloyd said.
Ortons 476 passing yards were the second most in Broncos history and the second most a Colts opponent had gained through the air.
Only Joe Namaths 496 yards in 1972 were more than Orton had against the Colts.
Indianapolis got into the air show, too.
With Garcon nursing a sore hamstring, Austin Collie set career bests with 12 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns, and Blair White, playing because Gonzalez has a high ankle sprain, caught a TD pass one day after being promoted from the practice squad.
Broncos rookie cornerback Perrish Cox had a difficult debut as a starter in place of the injured Andre Goodman. He was beaten for two scoring passes and also fumbled away a punt that led to a score.
Neither team ran the ball well, the Colts managing just 40 yards and the Broncos 47.
We had to be patient because the run game was kind of a grind, said Manning, who was 27 of 43 for 325 yards and no interceptions.
Lloyd caught six passes for a career-high 169 yards and Jabar Gaffney hauled in 12 passes for 140 yards for the Broncos. Denver moved up and down the field but couldnt do much in the red zone, where it ran 21 plays without reaching the end zone.
Thats a good red zone football team, Orton said. Thats what their team is built around. Their defense is very fast. They play tough coverage to throw the ball against down there.
Trailing 13-0, the Broncos had first-and-goal from the 1, but failed to punch it in without fullback Spencer Larsen, who was knocked out of the game with an ankle injury.
They thought they had a touchdown on Laurence Maroneys fourth-and-1 run around left tackle, but Caldwell challenged and the referee ruled Maroneys right knee hit the ground just before the ball broke the plane of the goal line.