DENVER (AP) — Turns out, Peyton Manning can hit his targets off the field, as well.
To get over last week's season-ending loss, Manning hooked up with an old buddy from Tennessee, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, and the two have been crisscrossing the country on a hunting trip.
"He told me he killed, in one day, a duck in Colorado and a deer in Mississippi," Manning's dad, Archie, told The Associated Press.
Anything for Peyton to take his mind off Denver's 38-35 loss to Baltimore last Saturday.
"He's trying to get it out of his system," said Archie Manning, who played quarterback for his hometown Saints from 1971 through 1982. "I don't know when that happens or how. But when he reflects on it, he's already said it, it was really a special year."
To put things in perspective, all Peyton's dad has to do is look back to a year ago this week. Younger son Eli was preparing to take the New York Giants into the NFC title game in San Francisco. Peyton, meanwhile, had been on the sideline for a year and could barely throw a football 10 yards — still recovering from multiple operations on his neck.
"As a parent, it's easy to look at the big picture," Archie Manning said. "Here we are one year later. He left a city and a team, the only place he played. Had to pick a new spot. Leaving was hard. Picking a new spot was difficult to do."
Manning had one of his best seasons. His 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns and, yes, his 68.6 percent completion accuracy, were each second-best in his 14 healthy seasons. Denver went 13-3 and had top-seeding in the playoffs.