The Peyton Manning Effect is still in effect one day after the Broncos first preseason game. Even though it was just a preseason game, Broncos fans held their heads a little higher today, with the excitement of what a future Hall of Fame quarterback can do for this team. This city.
Manning’s statistics don’t necessarily stand out after going 4-for-7 for 44 yards and 1 interception against the Bears, but the offensive firepower that he injected into this team certainly did.
The Chicago weather prompted stadium workers to lay down the big blue tarp prior to the game which threw off the Broncos pregame routine.
A camera crew caught Manning tossing the ball to a team equipment manager inside the tunnels of Solider Field.
“That kind of weather was a defensive coordinator’s best friend,”‘ John Fox said.
Still, the Broncos kept to their plan of playing Manning, and he took 12 snaps on the first drive.
Manning must have felt a little like a rookie after taking a full season off to straighten his neck issues.
“Even that first snap, that very first play, that was a big step for me. Maybe in some ways I’ve even gotten better. Now I have the ability to throw a ball in a linebackers hands and tip it to my own player – [Jacob] Tamme,” Manning said jokingly.
Manning drove the Broncos down the field before a tipped pass landed in the hands of Major Wright rather than Brandon Stokley.
“Disappointing obviously anytime you get down in the red zone and don’t come away with points,” Manning said.
That longtime connection didn’t pan out, but Stokley has the utmost confidence in his QB.
“He still throws the ball great. He’s got great control of the offense,” Stokley said.
Manning showed that when he completed a bullet to Eric Decker during the drive for a 19-yard gain on 3rd-and-17. Questions about his arm strength were put to bed with that pass. That’s the funny thing. It only takes one pass or one game to silence the critics. However, just because others are quiet doesn’t mean that the Broncos can go into auto-pilot.
“It was a good first start, a good first outing,” Fox said. “It’s what we do with it from here on that’s going to count.”