Broncos fired up in loss to Texans


Stronger, healthier, feistier than ever.

Peyton Manning capped a spunky week by getting the first disciplinary penalty of his storied career Saturday night when he was whistled for taunting in the Denver Broncos’ 18-17 preseason loss to the Houston Texans.

Manning was mad after D.J. Swearinger hit slot receiver Wes Welker in the face on a tackle. So, after throwing a 29-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders on the next play, Manning ran up to the Texans’ swaggering second-year safety and gave him a piece of his mind.

“He didn’t invite me to dinner,” Swearinger said.

Welker, who has a history of head injuries, sustained a concussion, coach John Fox said afterward.

“Obviously, I’m concerned about Wes,” Manning said. “I didn’t like seeing him come out of the game with a blow to the head. He had one of those last year that kept him out for a while.”

Besides, Manning said, 15 yards with 5 seconds left in the half, why not?

“I think if you’re going to get one, that’s a good time to get one,” said Manning, who has never had a personal foul among his 60 career infractions.

Manning declined to reveal what he said to Swearinger, who was also at the center of several skirmishes during the teams’ three days of intense joint practices during the week.

As for what Swearinger replied, “he said, ‘Thanks, appreciate it. Good luck to you as well,’ ” Manning cracked.

Swearinger swore that he didn’t cross the line with a cheap shot on Welker.

“I led with my shoulder. That’s the only thing I could do. He’s a short guy,” Swearinger said.

Out of respect for Manning, however, Swearinger declined to reveal what the five-time MVP said other than to confirm foul language was exchanged.

“That is a Hall of Fame quarterback. I respect him,” Swearinger said. “But he shouldn’t have done what he did.”

Browns 33, Rams 14: In Cleveland, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford reinjured the left knee he had surgery on last season and the Rams had four other starters hurt.

Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer threw a touchdown pass and celebrated rookie backup Johnny Manziel had a 7-yard TD run. Manziel was also sacked twice by Rams rookie Michael Sam, who punctuated the first takedown by mimicking Manziel’s “money” sign.

“If you’re going to sack Johnny, you’ve got to do that once,” Sam said.

Manziel went 10 of 15 for 85 yards.

Saints 23, Colts 17: In Indianapolis, Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter for New Orleans.

Titans 24, Falcons 17: In Atlanta, rookie Bishop Sankey’s 3-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion with 5:45 remaining capped a rally by the Titans.

Vikings 30, Chiefs 12: In Kansas City, the Vikings’ Matt Cassel threw for 152 yards and a touchdown against his former team.

Buccaneers 27, Bills 14: In Orchard Park, New York, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald provided quarterback Josh McCown and the rebuilt Buccaneers’ offense a hand in helping run up the score on the Bills by returning a fumble 17 yards for a touchdown.

Ravens 23, Redskins 17: In Baltimore, Joe Flacco’s final throw was a touchdown pass, providing a positive ending to an uneven performance.

Dolphins 25, Cowboys 20: In Miami Gardens, Florida, Orleans Darkwa ran in from 1 yard with 1:45 left, and the Dolphins rallied from two scores down to beat Dallas.