3-Point Stance: Manning Attacks

Peyton Manning was on a mission, FB Peyton Hillis is making a great first impression as he begins his second season in Denver, Brett Favre's debut is flat while Tarvaris Jackson bounces back in Minnesota. Scout.com's Ed Thompson hits these NFL topics and much more in his new 3-Point Stance feature.

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 three series.

2. Broncos fullback Peyton Hillis obviously knows that you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

Broncos FB Peyton Hillis has impressed new head coach Josh McDaniels.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

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. 

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 receivers. 

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 season.

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 Mitchell (65). 

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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.

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