Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 8/10/12

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning throws before the Broncos' 2012 preseason opener against the Chicago Bears. The Broncos routed the Bears 31-3 in Manning's Broncos debut. (Andrew Mason/MaxDenver.com)

The hit everyone was waiting for never happened. Left tackle Ryan Clady would rather be penalized than see Peyton Manning get zinged during the Denver Broncos‘ first preseason game.

“Peyton gets creamed or I take a 10-yard penalty?” Clady asked rhetorically [via Mike Klis]. “Peyton gets clobbered or I maul this guy?”

The answer was simple, and Clady took the (suspect) holding penalty, just as the new Broncos offense everyone was waiting to see was just getting into rhythm. It may have been frustrating to fans to see Manning’s perfect 11-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas get brought back, but it was smart on Clady’s part.

With Peyton Manning under center, you can get those yards back.

That’s exactly what Manning did in the first quarter Thursday as the Broncos opened their 2012 preseason against the Chicago Bears, routing their NFC opponent 31-3. Manning completed four consecutive passes (not including the Thomas catch, which was called back) to move the Broncos 50 yards downfield in his first and only drive, including a 19-yard pass to Eric Decker on 3rd and 17 that showed the type of passing prowess fans have been drooling over.

It wasn’t all positive though. Manning finished the night four for seven for 44 yards, and his last throw was thrown slightly behind receiver Brandon Stokley. The ball was tipped by the Bears’ D.J. Moore into the waiting arms of Major Wright for an interception at the Bears goal line.

“I take the blame,” Stokley told reporters. “I didn’t run a great route and the guy made a pretty good play and tipped it up in the air. It wasn’t (Manning’s) fault; it was more my fault with the route that I ran.”

It was the end of Manning’s work for the night. Manning and the first-team offense would not contribute to the rout in Chicago, while all three backup quarterbacks led touchdown drives.

But it was Jack Del Rio‘s stifling defense, allowing the Bears offense to enter Broncos territory only once before the fourth quarter and never surrendering a third down conversion, that most impacted the final score. Rookie Derek Wolfe was an uncompromising force in multiple positions on the defensive line, netting two sacks. Malik Jackson, Jeremy Beal, and Robert Ayers also had impressive days for defensive linemen, while linebacker Nate Irving was a force at linebacker, leading the team in tackles.

You take preseason victories with a grain of salt, and you remember that the Bears were without Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brian Urlacher, and Julius Peppers Thursday. But you find encouragement in a decisive victory and impressive performances on all fronts, even if The Man of the Hour ended his drive with the football in the wrong hands.

“(Manning) was remarkable,” Denver coach John Fox said in halftime quotes distributed by the team. “He came back — he’s worked very hard. He hasn’t played football in [almost] 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.”

Were you happy with Manning’s performance or disappointed in that last pick? Who among the backup QB’s looked best? Dish it out in the comments, and come back for BT Game Balls soon.

(Photo courtesy MaxDenver.com)


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues suspension statement without apology

Report: Patriots restructure Rob Gronkowski's contract

Agent: Rory McIlroy not booked for PGA Championship practice

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tom Brady, NFL to appear before judge on August 12

Report: Bradford, Eagles hope to sign short-term extension

Aaron Rodgers: TV networks have ‘too much access’

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Gronk, Big Papi go 'country' in latest Dunkin Donuts video

Phillies showing signs of future success

Mortensen on false Deflategate report: Still figuring Twitter out

Sheldon Richardson is down, but is he out?

Would Phil Jackson have taken Towns or Okafor first overall?

Seven Big 12 Heisman candidates for 2015

Will Manziel be good enough to be Browns’ backup plan?

Cowboys exec on Dez fight: 'I do think it's a good thing'

Baseball season in New York has been better than expected

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker