Line protecting Manning at league-leading pace

EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer Published:

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- It's one thing to block for a quarterback. It's quite another when that quarterback is Peyton Manning, the NFL version of a national treasure.

As soon as the Broncos signed Manning in the offseason, the stakes for the Denver offensive linemen rose considerably. For sure, nobody wants to be the guy who gives up a sack, and in this case, nobody wants to be the guy who gives up the hit that could do serious damage to their quarterback's surgically repaired neck.

So far, all is going well for Manning and his new line.

Through nine games, the Broncos have allowed only 11 sacks -- tied with Houston for the least allowed and alone in the lead with the fewest number of sacks allowed per pass play.