DENVER – There was no slowing down Peyton Manning, even without two of his favorite receivers.
Manning threw for three touchdowns despite the absence of Anthony Gonzalez and Pierre Garcon, and the Indianapolis Colts beat the crestfallen Denver Broncos 27-13 Sunday.
The Broncos (1-2) were playing with heavy hearts following the death of teammate Kenny McKinley.
Kyle Orton threw for a career-best 476 yards on 37-of-57 passing and the Broncos outgained the Colts (2-1) by more than 100 yards. But they failed to get into the end zone on five trips inside the 20-yard line, settling for two field goals and turning over the ball on downs three times.
Colts receiver Austin Collie caught 12 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns in place of Garcon (hamstring), and Blair White, playing because Gonzalez has a high ankle sprain, caught a touchdown pass one day after being promoted from the practice squad.
Neither team ran the ball well, the Colts for 40 yards and the Broncos 47.
Collie's 28-yard grab on third-and 15 from the Colts 17 gave Manning some breathing room and they hooked up again for a 23-yard score with 4½ minutes left to cap the scoring.
Broncos rookie Demaryius Thomas couldn't hold on for a 20-yard TD and came down hard on his left arm and appeared to hurt either his shoulder or wrist.
Orton's 48-yard touchdown toss to Brandon Lloyd brought Denver to 13-10 in the third quarter, but Manning countered with a 9-yard TD to White, an undrafted rookie from Michigan State.
Orton and Lloyd connected for 61 yards on their next possession, but that drive stalled in the red zone and Matt Prater's 33-yard field goal made it 20-13.
Lloyd caught six passes for a career-high 169 yards and Jabar Gaffney hauled in 12 passes for 140 yards for the Broncos. Denver moved up and down the field but couldn't do much in the red zone, where confusion and indecision by Orton and his receivers reigned.
There was a moment of silence before kickoff in honor of McKinley, who died Monday at his home near team headquarters. Sheriff's department investigators believe McKinley killed himself with a .45-caliber pistol because he was depressed following his second straight season-ending knee surgery.
The Broncos, who also wore No. 11 decals on their helmets, held a private memorial service with eight of McKinley's family members Friday at their training facility. Several members of the organization and some players will fly to his funeral Monday in Georgia.
The Colts led 13-3 at halftime after capitalizing on two rookie mistakes by the Broncos.
Perrish Cox fumbled a punt at his 14, and that led to Adam Vinatieri's second field goal, a 33-yarder that made it 6-0. Then Thomas appeared to run the wrong route and a pass intended for Eddie Royal was picked off by Jacob Lacey, who returned it 45 yards to the Denver 26, setting up Manning's 5-yard TD toss to Collie.
The Broncos also had first-and-goal from the 1 but failed to punch it in without fullback Spencer Larsen leading the way. He was knocked out of the game earlier with an ankle injury.
The thought they had a touchdown on Laurence Maroney's fourth-and-1 run around left tackle, but Indianapolis challenged and the referee ruled Maroney's right knee hit the ground just before the ball broke the plane of the goal line.
The Broncos got inside the Colts 10 in the final minutes, but settled for Prater's chip-shot field goal and a 13-3 halftime deficit.
Manning was 27 for 43 for 325 yards and no interceptions.