The last time Peyton Manning took a snap, it was 651 days ago as the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.
Now, and after an emotionally hard offseason that saw Indy Colts Owner Jim Irsay tearfully part ways with the legendary passer, and the Denver Broncos making him an offer to join the Orange and Blue in Denver, Manning looked like, well, Peyton Manning.
Peyton was 19 of 26 for 253 yards and two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Manning was at his best in the Broncos’ no-huddle attack, and at times it was hard to distinguish between the Peyton with the Colts and the Peyton with the Denver Broncos.
But there was one major difference this blogger noticed: a more varied offense.
Where the Colts had six basic plays that Peyton Manning ran, the Broncos have at least ten times that many. That means Manning has more schematic tools to use to attack a defense, which makes him more dangerous as a QB.
The Broncos also have a great, opportunistic defensive back in Tracy Porter, who came over from the New Orleans Saints, and is the same person who picked-off Peyton to end the 2009 Super Bowl in Miami. Now, Porter helped Manning by doing the same thing: intercepting Pittsburgh Steeler’s QB Ben Rothlisburger and returning the ball to score.
The Denver Broncos will be fun to watch. But we’ll get a better feeling for how the AFC West’s going to shape up after Monday Night’s game pitting the San Diego Chargers against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland.