- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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As if there isn’t enough to attract interest in Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos debut Sunday night, he can set a major NFL record in the game against Pittsburgh.
Manning is tied with Dan Marino with 63 300-yard passing games, which is the most in NFL history. His next 300-yard game will put him alone atop the NFL record books. I don’t think Denver is necessarily looking for Manning to toss for an enormous amount of yards against Pittsburgh. A win and a 240-yard outing would suffice.
The Broncos’ brass just wants to see continued improvement from the preseason in which Manning was efficient and was in a good rhythm for the most part after he sat out the 2011 season with a neck injury.
Still, a solid preseason will not compare to what Manning will face Sunday against Pittsburgh. The Steelers rushed five or more defenders at the fifth highest rate in the NFL in 2011, according to ESPN Stats & Information. So, Manning will have the shake the regular season rust right away. Here is an ESPN video exploring whether Manning is ready for the season.
Former opponent and new Denver safety Jim Leonhard told reporters in Denver on Wednesday he has no doubts Manning will ready to go Sunday.
“He looks absolutely fine to me,” Leonhard said. “He’s a guy who never just used his arm strength all the time anyway. He’s a true vet. He knows when he has to put some zip on it and when he kind of throws a guy open and puts it into a spot. There’s nothing to me that indicates that he’s having any issues with his arm.”
But will his renewed health result in an NFL record in his first game as a Bronco.
5dEric D. Williams