Manning plays well in brief debut as Broncos QB, Denver beats Chicago 31-3
CHICAGO — It was a rainy night in Chicago, but Peyton Manning made his debut as quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
It’s been more than 18 months since he took a snap in an NFL game, and he has come all the way back. Manning missed all of last season with a nerve injury in his neck that weakened his throwing arm.
“I sure have come a long way in a year,” he said. “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, it’ll be all about the game. I’m not going to be too reflective.”
The Broncos first game of the regular season is against the Steelers.
Head coach John Fox was pleased with what transpired.
“He was remarkable,” Fox said. “He came back, he’s worked very hard. He hasn’t played football in (nearly) two years. I thought it was a good first drive in these conditions. It was sloppy. It was sloppy by the receivers as far as the conditions, but I thought it was a very good first outing.”
Number 18 played in the first series of the game for the Broncos. Backup and former Chicago Bear Caleb Hanie took over after that in the first half.
Manning went 4 for 7 passing for 44 yards and one interception. The interception came near the goal line and it appeared the ball was tipped right before it got to Brandon Stokley. The ball bounced off Stokley into a defender’s hands.
Manning looked good and in solid control of the Broncos’ offense. He faced a 3rd down and 17 yards to go play, and threw a rocket of a spiral to Eric Decker for a 19-yard gain and a first down.
The Broncos dominated statistically and on the scoreboard. They beat the Bears 31-3.