Peyton Manning shows only a tinge of rust as the Broncos defeat the Bears 31-3
Although the staff of Players View was covering the Atlanta Falcons pre-season affair against the Baltimore Ravens, our attention like many of those in the Georgia Dome was focused on the return Peyton Manning hundreds of miles away in Chicago.
Various whispers in the concession lines and neighboring seats could be overheard pondering not only how well he would do but whether or not he would be able to withstand another round of NFL beatings after his recent neck issues.
As the stats came in over smart phones via mobile apps, text messages or phone calls, one thing was clear, for all intensive purposes Manning had a solid Denver debut.
Now that we’ve seen the actual footage of the sole drive that Manning orchestrated, the new question is Manning trading riskier long distance highlights for short to intermediate high percentage throws?
There were a few visible signs of rust.
Manning finished 4-of-7 passing for 44 yards and a red zone interception that was thrown behind Brandon Stokley who watched the ball deflected to Bears CB Major Wright who left the game with an injury.
Manning almost saw the drive end on his second passing attempt which was a boo-boo thrown almost directly to Bears LB Geno Hayes. Hayes popped the ball up and the play was salvaged by Broncos TE Jacob Tamme.
Overall, Manning felt good about his progress.
“I sure have come a long way in a year,” Manning told NFL.com. “I know how much hard work I’ve put in and how much help I’ve gotten along the way. I know once we get to Pittsburgh (the regular-season opener), it’ll be all about the game. I’m not going to be too reflective.”
“It’s hard to know what’s going to happen, it’s hard to predict, but I felt like I had a little rhythm there on offense, things we can build on,” Manning said. “Overall, I thought it was a decent start.”