DENVER 31 HOUSTON 17 --- Denver RB Willis McGahee made it clear in the offseason that the Broncos were going to continue to run the football, even with the acquisition of all-time great QB Peyton Manning. McGahee, who isn't as fast or quick as he once was, still runs with tremendous power and poise. Denver picked up Pittsburgh castoff Jonathan Dwyer to learn the position behind the savvy veteran ball carrier. Both players, young and old, got it going against the Houston Texans on Sunday...but things didn't start out so great for the Mile High squad. Early in the game, Houston's stacked defense was able to neutralize Peyton Manning's passing attack by pinning them inside of their own 5-yard line with an outstanding punt by Donnie Jones. Denver quickly gave the ball back to Houston, and with great starting field position, the Texans put the first points on the board with an easy field goal. 3-0 Houston Midway through the second quarter, Peyton Manning made a bad read and threw a pick-six to CB Jonathan Joseph. 10-0 Houston The Broncos were able to answer after getting a short field following a Champ Bailey interception. Willis McGahee ran behind his mauling offensive line and found the endzone. 10-7 Houston After another stalled Denver drive, Houston's QB Matt Schaub bounced back and made a couple of big throws and drove the Texans down for a big touchdown. 17-7 Houston After finding themselves in a hole for the third straight week, the persistent Broncos clawed their way back into this one in the second half. Down 17-7 heading into the locker room, Manning and his running backs got it going in the second half - rattling off 24 unanswered points. The Broncos kicked a field goal on their opening drive, forced a quick punt, and Manning completed 6 straight passes and McGahee finished in the red-zone for his second score of the day. 17-17 Tie Denver's defense used their hostile home crowd to their advantage and stonewalled Houston's high-powered offense. Manning, who didn't throw an incomplete pass in the second half, drove his team down the field again, hitting future star WR Demaryius Thomas short - Thomas did the rest, making a beautiful juke to get around the final defender. 24-17 Denver Lacking the time to lean on their dominant rushing attack, Houston was forced to pass on this strong Denver secondary. Schaub and his wideouts weren't able to get anything going and they gave the ball right back to the Broncos. A few plays into the late drive, McGahee used excellent blocking to get outside - the veteran back, who isn't known for his speed, got to the sideline and turned on his deceptive jets, taking the ball 70+ yards to the house. 31-17 Denver Young power back Jonathan Dwyer sealed the game with a long run with under two minutes to go. --- DENVER Willis McGahee: 148 yards rushing and 3 TDs HOUSTON Jonathan Joseph: INT return for a TD --- GG, Dave!