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Peyton Manning is back and better than ever

New Orleans Saints v Denver Broncos

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos audibles at the line during a game against the New Orleans Saints at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on October 28, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

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For anyone out there who still thinks that Peyton Manning has yet to become Peyton Manning again, consider this nugget from Broncos P.R. guru Patrick Smyth.

Manning has become the first quarterback in NFL history to string together four games with 300 passing yards, 70-percent completion percentage, and three touchdowns per game. Also, the cumulative totals of 1,289 yards, 75-percent completion percentage, and 12 touchdown passes is a first.

The Broncos won three of those games, losing only at New England in Week Five.

He did it Sunday night despite banging his hand against a helmet. He emerged with only a busted nail.

"[Q]uarterbacks, probably the biggest fear is always the thumb on the helmet of the defensive lineman, so that’s what happened,” Manning said after the game. “Mostly the nail, the fingernail. It’ll be sore tomorrow, but I’m probably a little bit lucky.”

That means the Bengals may not be very lucky. They’ll exit their bye with a visit from Peyton, who’ll be close enough to Indy to entice fans to choose to make the trek to Cincy over watching the shockingly 4-3 Colts host the nearly-as-shockingly 4-3 Dolphins.

The Broncos also are 4-3. Unlike the Colts and Dolphins, Denver plays in a division where four victories could be half the wins necessary to get to the postseason.

We’ve got a feeling the Broncos will end up with more than eight this year.