Bears V. Broncos – Return of the Prodigal Brother

Chicago welcomes Peyton Manning back to the NFL tonight when the Bears host the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field in the first pre-season game of the year. Manning was out all of last year due to a series of neck issues that caused him to have surgeries to repair the problem. As a result of his season-long absence the Indianapolis Colts suffered a 2-14 the season and garnered the top overall pick in the April draft. With the opportunity to pick Stanford QB Andrew Luck the Colts severed their ties with Manning, a certain Hall-of-Famer who brought Indy to the pinnacle of NFL success.

After Manning was released, the highest profile free agent in NFL history was courted by several teams needing extraordinary leadership under the center.  Manning chose Denver over Arizona and San Francisco and signed 5-year 100 million dollar deal to end his career with the Broncos. Tonight he starts his second road to the Super Bowl, as Manning seeks to prove he got the better of the Colts’ decision.  Manning has a vaunted defense to help him in his journey as the Broncos were a playoff team that overachieved with Tim Tebow. All-world linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil are stars for Denver who, along with another future hall-of-fame cornerback Champ Bailey, were keys to swaying Manning’s decision to come to the AFC West. Manning has former 1st-rd WR Demayrius Thomas to work with, along with Erick Decker and Knowshon Moreno back from injuries. These 3 are not exactly the weapons Manning was used to in Indy but with his smarts expect him to get the best out of these players and make the most of his opportunity. All of this is continent upon staying healthy, of course, but tonight will provide a hint of Manning’s ability to steer the team through the season.  He will surely have the chip on his shoulder to prove his doubters wrong, especially with his little brother Eli having won 2 Super bowls since Peyton’s only Super Bowl win over these Bears in Miami 6 years ago.