(DENVER) — Peyton Manning did not appear rusty, and his new team got the victory.
Manning threw for two touchdowns, including the 400th of his career, and the Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 Sunday night.
The former Indianapolis Colt amassed 253 yards through the air and did not throw an interception. Manning is coming off four neck surgeries that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season.
“It’s just one game. I try to keep it in perspective,” Manning said. “I know how hard I’ve worked to get to this point. I know how much help that I’ve gotten along the way, from a lot of people. I’m very grateful for that. It’s special. I will definitely say it’s special.”
In the third quarter, his 71-yard touchdown strike to Demaryius Thomas allowed Manning to join only Dan Marino and Brett Favre as quarterbacks to throw 400 touchdowns in their career.
“I love those guys,” Manning said. “Brett and Dan are two of my favorite quarterbacks of all time. I don’t feel like I belong in their category. But to be sort of mentioned among them is a true honor.”
The Broncos (1-0) led by six with two minutes remaining when former New Orleans Saint Tracy Porter intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass for a touchdown to seal the victory for Denver. The Steelers (0-1) managed only 75 yards rushing in the loss.
Denver will take on the Atlanta Falcons on the road next Monday night.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN