Peyton Manning: Denver QB's Explosion vs. Raiders Bodes Well for Playoff Hopes

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Just when Peyton Manning started to show some rust, he delivered an impeccable showing against the Oakland Raiders. These type of performances will have the Broncos postseason-bound when December rolls around.

Manning did not disappoint the home crowd as he carved up the Oakland secondary for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Better yet, his accuracy looked back to form after a couple of shaky outings against Atlanta and Houston.

He completed 79 percent of his passes on the day, good for a passer rating of 130. In a divisional game that the Broncos couldn't afford to squander. Manning didn't miss an opportunity to hit his receivers right in the numbers.

No throw was better than his strike to Joel Dreessen between three Raider defenders. Manning threw a beautiful ball right when it needed to be, and his tight end did the rest.

In fact, the entire Bronco offense looked dialed in from the get-go. Willis McGahee provided offensive balance with 112 yards, averaging almost six yards per carry.

Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas played like the consistent producers many thought they would be with Manning as their quarterback.

This performance has to be put in perspective, however, because the Oakland defense made Ryan Tannehill look like Peyton Manning circa 2006.

While there's reason for hope that the Denver QB can play on this level throughout the season, Manning supporters must remain cautiously optimistic.

Looking forward though, the quality of defense that the Broncos will face is not very high, which should allow Manning and his offense to get even more comfortable together.

The first of two all-important division matchups with San Diego will be on Monday Night Football in two weeks. Then pesky New Orleans and 3-1 Cincinnati follow, and all will test Manning's arm and dare him to throw deep.

The Peyton Manning saga took a short turn for the better against Oakland. Denver cannot breathe easy just yet, as their quarterback and offense still need time to gel. However, the playoffs are certainly in play.

Blowouts against the Raiders, though, never get old. Seeing Peyton Manning throw darts doesn't either.