Already the difference early between the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos is clearly the play of the quarterback. During his opening possession, Andy Dalton nearly throws an interception on a third-down incomplete pass. Peyton Manning on the other hand, after starting Denver's offense from the 20-yard line, rests comfortably from the pocket and hits his receivers in stride -- several out of the backfield.
Yet no pressure existed to force the issue. Feeling comfortable within predictable rhythm, Manning completed two attempts on third down, converting both for first downs.
Cincinnati's rushing defense helps stall the Broncos, limiting Willis McGahee to only eight yards on four carries, including a stuffed one-yard run on third and six from the Bengals 26-yard line.
Matt Prater converts the 43-yard field goal to give Denver a 3-0 lead with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.