The Denver Broncos offense under Gary Kubiak was supposed to look surprisingly different than in years past. Peyton Manning, apparently, didn’t get the memo.

In his first preseason appearance on Saturday against the Houston Texans, Manning looked much like the Manning Denver saw in his first three years with perhaps a few more snaps from under center. The Broncos elected to pass far more frequently than expected, including several passing plays on short-yardage third downs.

The final line on Maning: 8-for-14 and 52 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions and no points. Perhaps the most telling stat of the night? Denver had just three first downs with Manning at the helm, one of which was a first-down run for 14 yards by C.J. Anderson. In fairness to Manning, his receivers had drops on at least two potential third-down conversions.

On Denver’s only possession that entered Houston territory, the Broncos managed to get to just the 41 yard line of the Texans before getting backed up on a penalty, then punting.

All the talk of the Broncos being a run-first team may have been just talk, if Saturday’s preseason debut for Manning was any indication.

As the game unfolded, and it became more and more clear that the offense still centers around Manning, members of the Mile High Sports team were there to offer their observations. Here are the highlights…