Despite the Broncos’ perfect 6–0 record, Manning has thrown a league-worst 10 interceptions, including three on Sunday. The Broncos beat the Cleveland Browns, 26–23 in overtime, and Manning finished the game with 290 yards and a touchdown, completing 26 of 48 passes. His completion rate of 61.6% ranks No. 33 among NFL quarterbacks.
“We don’t really care what people say,” wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said to ESPN. “I know I just got to make more plays and make people be quiet on it. Me dropping a ball, they probably say something about Peyton after that. ... I bet there are people that blame Peyton when I dropped the ball. He’s our quarterback. Our leader. I know I can make more plays for him.”
Hillman caught 10 of 17 passes for 111 yards, but did not score. Running back Ronnie Hillman, who rushed for 111 yards on 20 carries, was also vocal in his support of Manning.
“We’re here to rally behind him,” Hillman said. “Peyton is our leader, our quarterback. People can say whatever they want. They don’t know. And this offense is right there. It’s going to get going, and then people can ask about something else.”
Hillman posted an additional message on Twitter, addressing “fake fans” who he felt have been too quick to criticize Manning.
Ya need to get off Peyton that's our QB bottom line .You fake fans don't say anything when he is winning us the game smh— Ronnie Hillman (@MrHillman2U) October 18, 2015
Coach Gary Kubiak also restated his confidence in Manning.
“I know he's very capable of getting rid of those mistakes and hanging on to the great plays that he’s making,” Kubiak said. “He’s our leader. He’ll keep battling.”
After a Week 7 bye, the Broncos will host the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 1.
- Erin Flynn