The Broncos started off the drive after Atlanta’s field goal with a third-and-6 completion to wide receiver Brandon Stokley. Manning was under pressure on the play, but managed to get the ball to a diving Stokley, who made the catch 1 yard past the first-down markers.
Running back Willis McGahee followed with a 15-yard burst down the right sideline for another first down, moving the Broncos to near midfield.
Denver crossed into Atlanta territory with a third consecutive first down. This one came on a screen pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who gained 14.
The drive ended on the next play, however. Manning tried to hit wide receiver Brandon Stokley on a deep pass near the end zone, but cornerback Robert McClain intercepted the pass and returned it 42 yards to the Falcons’ 47-yard line.
The Broncos defense stood strong on the ensuing possession. Cornerback Tracy Porter stopped wideout Julio Jones on an end around on the first play and Von Miller hit running back Michael Turner after a screen pass for no gain, forcing a Falcons three-and-out.