Skip to main content

Quick Take: Manning looks more at home vs. 49ers

Around the League writer Marc Sessler has his takeaways from the game:

From Around the League:
» Lessons from Sunday's preseason games

» On Sunday, Peyton Manning shrugged off a pair of ho-hum preseason performances to produce his best outing yet against the San Francisco 49ers. The Denver Broncos quarterback finished 10-of-12 passing for 122 yards with a pair of touchdowns. On three first-quarter drives, Manning looked at home in Denver's offense.

Manning's arm has diminished, but his mind has not.

We saw the old veteran jawing at wideouts, shifting linemen and staying ahead of San Francisco's defense. He distributed mostly short and intermediate throws, but also threw a nice long ball to running back Lance Ball along the right sideline. There was concern about Manning's ability to throw to that side of the field, but he challenged the notion with some success on Sunday.

» The big winners in Denver are the flock of young receivers. Manning spread the wealth around on offense, with everyone from Joel Dreessen to Eric Decker getting in on the action. Manning also formed a nice connection with Ball, who caught that 38-yard rope.

» Alex Smith completed a pretty 44-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis, but peel that away and San Francisco's starting quarterback was just 4-for-6 for 25 yards. We aren't seeing much chemistry between Smith and the gang of wideouts Jim Harbaugh imported this offseason.

» Broncos rookie back Ronnie Hillman has been struggling with injuries this preseason, but pumped out 29 yards on the ground Sunday. He's being counted on to eventually play a Darren Sproles-like role in Manning's backfield, but he's not there yet.

» At one point in the FOX broadcast booth, Troy Aikman and Joe Buck wondered out loud if Terry Bradshaw had fallen asleep. A special moment for viewers nationwide. Earlier on, we were treated to Bradshaw's assessment of quarterback Matt Flynn, tucked away in Seattle: "Barely any good," Bradshaw said, "... Had one good game against Detroit and got rich off it."

» Meanwhile, another contest floats by without a reception for Randy Moss. No reason to panic, but the 49ers' pass-catcher has been a ghost throughout the preseason.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content