1. Peyton Manning clearly was on a mission Thursday night against the Eagles.
After being slapped around a bit by the Minnesota Vikings in the Colts' preseason opener last week, quarterback Peyton Manning
really went on the attack Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
On the team's first
possession, Manning threw ten passes on a 12-play, 81-yard touchdown drive. He
even threw a pair of passes in a first-and-goal situation at the Philadelphia
3-yard line, connecting with Anthony Gonzalez on the second attempt in the right
corner of the end zone. Then, after fumbling the ball away on the Colts second
possession, Manning went deep on the first play of the team's third offensive
set of downs, connecting with Reggie Wayne for a 76-yard score.
Why the big
difference in one week? Well, while the Vikings were successful in getting
pressure from various players and through multiple gaps, it didn't help that the Colts were missing both starting offensive tackles--Charlie Johnson and Ryan Diem--who helped provide much better protection on Thursday
night. And tight end Dallas Clark also returned to the lineup,
giving Manning his full complement of top-tier receivers.
Whether he'd admit it or not, Manning had to be a bit frustrated and
embarrassed after being sacked three times in the preseason opener. And he took
that anger out on the Eagles defense with his heavy mix of pass plays during his
2. Broncos fullback Peyton Hillis obviously knows that you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
When you're working for a new head coach, it sure
helps when you make a good impression right out of the gate. And it appears that
second-year fullback Peyton Hillis has done just that.
Broncos FB Peyton Hillis has impressed new head coach Josh McDaniels.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Josh McDaniels described
Hillis this week as "an older-school type of guy" due to his tough and physical
style of play. And he really likes the former Arkansas Razorback's versatility.
Hillis not only averaged 4.9 yards per carry rushing against the 49ers last
week, he also caught a pair of passes for 18 yards.
"Those are the things we look for in all our players, and Peyton seems to
be one of the few that it all comes naturally to him," McDaniels said.
"That is just the way he
is. He is a great guy to have on your team, a great teammate. We are fortunate
to have him on our team."
The Broncos visit the Seahawks on Saturday night at
10:30 p.m. ET.
3. Vikings quarterback Brett Favre fell short of some unrealistic expectations in his preseason debut.
Minnesota fans who expected Brett Favre to
move the team up and down the field in his preseason debut against the Chiefs
were disappointed Friday night as the veteran quarterback completed just one of
four pass attempts during two series. In fact, the team didn't even convert a
first down while Favre was on the field.
But that shouldn't have been a huge
surprise to anyone with more realistic expectations since Favre has only had a few days to work on timing with his new
Meanwhile, backup Tarvaris Jackson continued his perplexing ways,
completing 12 of 15 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns a week after a
dismal performance against the Colts. Perhaps Jackson has realized that he's
likely auditioning for a trade opportunity before the opening of the regular
Quick Count: Entering his 15th season, Tennessee Titans
quarterback Kerry Collins has completed 63.3 percent of his throws in
three preseason outings, but has thrown two interceptions and just one
touchdown pass during his ten offensive series ... Sixteen of the Eagles'
18 first downs were converted on pass plays against the Colts on Thursday night.
The other two were a result of penalties ... Speaking of penalties, the Cincinnati
Bengals and the New England Patriots were both flagged nine times
during Thursday night's 7-6 game, but the Dallas Cowboys tallied 13 on
Friday against the Titans. That's going to make their coaching staffs a bit
cranky ... Happy
Birthday to New Orleans Saints G Jahri Evans (26), Baltimore Ravens
LS Matt Katula (27), Colts RB Chad Simpson (24), former New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers WR Wes Chandler (53), former
Buffalo Bills and Chargers LB/P Paul McGuire (71), former Detroit Lions LB Stephen Boyd (37), former Chicago Bears and Cowboys WR Dennis
McKinnon (48), former Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Colts TE Tom
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com.