He took shots. He got up. He threw darts to his right. He threw touchdowns. He wasn’t intercepted. He moved the ball.
And then he sat.
Manning was fine in his first two preseason games. Yes, there was some rust and he threw three interceptions. But he was making progress and he looked like he was on pace to be ready for the season opener.
In a game the starting quarterback often plays into the third quarter, Denver coach John Fox looked to have seen enough from Manning after three first-quarters scores and a 17-0 lead over the San Francisco 49ers and their strong defense. After a field-goal drive and two touchdown passes, Manning put on a visor. It will likely remain on his head until the Broncos open the season at home against Pittsburgh on Sept. 9.
The Broncos have two weeks knowing Manning should be ready to go. He completed 10 of 12 passes for 122 yards.
He took a big hit and got up fine for the second consecutive week. Most importantly, Manning threw with authority to his right for the first time this preseason. Throwing to his right on passes longer than 10 yards was Manning’s last real hurdle. But he made continued improvements this summer and he was terrific in that area Sunday.
In what was likely the lass time we see him until his Denver career begins, Manning showed the NFL he is as ready as he can be.