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NFL: Peyton Manning is back but Broncos lose

The veteran managed two touchdown passes from 10 completed. Meanwhile, Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez took it in turns to throw interceptions as the Jets once again failed to score a touchdown.

Image: Jack Dempsey/AP/Press Association Images

PEYTON MANNING PRODUCED his best performance yet for the Denver Broncos in their 29-24 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL pre-season.

The star quarterback, a four-time NFL MVP with the Indianapolis Colts, missed all of last season because of a neck injury having played 227 consecutive games – including playoffs.

But Manning, released by the Colts in March this year, showed glimpses of his best yesterday, completing 10 of 12 passes for 122 yards and a pair of touchdown passes in less than a quarter.

With 46 seconds left in the first quarter, Manning departed having led the Broncos to a 17-0 lead they would relinquish in his absence.

Alex Smith threw a 49-yard touchdown pass and David Akers finished with five field goals as the 49ers outscored the second-string Broncos 19-0 in the second half.

In the other game on Sunday, the New York Jets failed to score a touchdown for the third straight pre-season game.

The Jets also tasted defeat for the third time in as many outings, losing 17-12 to the Carolina Panthers.

Mark Sanchez (11 of 18 passes for 123 yards and an interception) was solid for close to three quarters. Tim Tebow (four of 14 for 55 yards and an interception) was also unable to lead the Jets into the end zone.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was kept quiet, completing six of 15 for 60 yards, but he threw a touchdown pass to Louis Murphy as the Panthers edged the struggling Jets.

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