Following the Saints’ second punt of the day, a 52-yarder by Thomas Morstead, the Broncos offense took over at their own 2-yard line.
Running back Willis McGahee provided some breathing room with four straight carries that gained a total of 26 yards.
That set up for a play-action pass as quarterback Peyton Manning faked the handoff to McGahee and hit wide receiver Demaryius Thomas deep over the middle for a 41-yard gain.
From the Saints’ 28-yard line, rookie running back Ronnie Hillman took his first carry of the game for a gain of 4 yards. After Manning and Decker just missed on a pass to the end zone, the quarterback hit tight end Jacob Tamme on third down, who laid out to reach the first-down marker.
After a McGahee carry, Manning dropped back on second down and saw several defenders charging in on a blitz. Calmly, he flicked the ball to McGahee near the line of scrimmage, who made the catch and stormed up field to the 1-yard line. A play later, McGahee took it one more time to run it in for the touchdown.
The short touchdown run capped off an 11-play, 98-yard drive that took 4:39. Following the extra point conversion, Denver took a 7-0 with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter.
McGahee ran the ball six times on the drive and totaled 47 all-purpose yards and a rushing touchdown.
Manning was 3-of-4 and picked up 61 yards through the air.
Click here to watch the Manning-to-Thomas 41-yard connection.
Click here to watch McGahee’s touchdown run.