(Reuters) - After his dream return to the NFL last week, Peyton Manning was given a rude awakening by Atlanta on Monday as the Falcons intercepted the Denver quarterback three times in the first quarter on the way to a 27-21 win over the Broncos.
Manning missed last season due to neck surgery, leading Indianapolis to cut the four-times league MVP, but on his debut with the Broncos last week the 36-year-old showed he still had plenty to offer, leading the team to a 31-19 win over Pittsburgh.
Against Atlanta, however, Manning struggled to find his receivers and watched the home defense pick off his passes and race to a 20-0 lead.
Manning composed himself and threw a touchdown to Demaryius Thomas just before the intermission to cut the deficit to 20-7 at the half.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan extended their lead to 27-7 with a scoring pass to Roddy White in the third quarter before Manning led two drives that were both capped by short touchdown runs from Willis McGahee that pulled Denver (1-1) within six.
However, the Falcons were able to keep possession and run out the clock to seal the win.
Ryan finished with two touchdowns throws and no interceptions, while Manning threw for 241 yards and a touchdown to go with his three costly interceptions.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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