NEW YORK (AP) — As he nears yet another milestone, Peyton Manning has the Denver Broncos back as the top team in the NFL.
Denver received eight first-place votes Tuesday for the AP Pro32 power rankings, which are decided by a 12-member media panel that regularly covers the league.
Manning threw three touchdown passes in a 31-17 win Sunday over the New York Jets and is two touchdown passes shy of Brett Favre’s record of 508 regular-season TD throws. Manning can set the mark Sunday night against the San Francisco 49ers.
“Peyton creeps ever closer to Brett Favre’s record of 508 career TDs with three more against the Jets,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said. “Three to go for another slice of history for the great one.”
San Diego, which moved to 5-1 after rallying past the winless Oakland Raiders 31-28, moved up a spot to No. 2 and received three first-place votes.
The Broncos and Chargers will meet for the first time this season on Thursday, Oct. 23.
“(Philip) Rivers ready for Peyton showdown,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said.
After facing San Diego, Manning will travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Nov. 2.
“Peyton Manning is bracing for a Murderer’s Row — 49ers, Chargers and Patriots,” Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune said.
The surging Dallas Cowboys (5-1), who have won five in a row and are tied for first in the NFC East with the Philadelphia Eagles, received the other first-place vote.
“The Cowboys not only won in Seattle, but they were the more physical team against the Seahawks,” said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback. “Both are rare feats.”
The Eagles stayed in fourth place after their 27-0 rout of division rival New York Giants.
“Philadelphia eased concerns about its offense with a dominant win over its division rival,” ESPN’s Herm Edwards said.
The Seattle Seahawks dropped from No. 1 to No. 5 after their 30-23 loss to the Cowboys. The San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and the Patriots rounded out the top 10.
NBC’s Tony Dungy was impressed with Arizona after its 30-20 win over Washington, which gave the Cardinals (4-1) a half-game lead over the 49ers in the NFC West.
“If (Carson) Palmer can stay healthy, they can make some noise,” he said.
The Patriots have scored 80 points in the past two games and host Rex Ryan’s reeling Jets on Thursday night.
“The Patriots are more than just Tom Brady,” Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News said. “They lead the NFL defensively with seven fumble recoveries and 14 takeaways.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars filled the bottom three spots in the poll.