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Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos: Plenty of respect, but no fear of Peyton Manning

Tempe, Ariz. — In his illustrious career, Peyton Manning has thrown for 65,778 yards and 499 touchdowns. He has completed 65.5 percent of his passes, and been to three Super Bowls — winning one. He’s been to 13 Pro Bowls and won multiple MVP awards.

Last year, with the Denver Broncos, he set an NFL single-season record by throwing 55 touchdown passes.

Peyton Manning is good. Damn good. A legend, in fact.

But when the 3-0 Arizona Cardinals face off with him and the 2-1 Broncos Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, none of that will matter.

“He’s a great player, you’ve got to give him respect where respect is due,” safety Rashad Johnson said. “But at the end of the day we line up, we play the game, and you can’t go into it with so much respect that it becomes maybe a fearful factor, that it plays a point in your mindset.

“We go out, we’re planning on dominating the game, playing physical, stopping the run, and we’re going to try to get pressure on him as well and shake him off his spots. When you move him off his spot he’s not as great as a guy as he is when he’s standing there, standing tall, stepping up and throwing it.”

Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers, who played with Manning as a member of the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 and 2010, has seen Manning’s greatness up close.

“We’re not going up there saying, ‘wow, it’s Peyton Manning’; it’s nothing like that,” he said. “Don’t get it confused with that. But the guy has put in his work over his career and we respect what he’s done for the league and in the league, but at the end of the day he’s an opponent, he’s another player. He’s in the same fraternity as the rest of the guys in the locker room as far as a player.

“So we’re not you know like,’wow, that’s Peyton Manning’ or doing anything like that because we’re going in there wanting to win. We’re on a mission this year, just like they’re on a mission as well.”