Super Bowl XLVIII got off to an ominous start for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. A high snap on the very first play from scrimmage led to a safety and it was all downhill from there. By the time it was over, the Seahawks had cruised to a 43-8 victory and now, two months later, Manning has made his first public comments on what has to be one of the lowlights of his Hall of Fame NFL career.
"I don't really have a word for it," Manning said Wednesday of the loss, via the Associated Press. "Obviously it was disappointing and we'll use that to fuel us this offseason and hopefully it'll make us better.
"I know the front office has addressed some offseason needs in free agency and of course the draft's coming up and now it's up to the players to put in the hard work in the weight room, the film room and on the practice field to try to be a better team this year and that all starts Monday."
The Broncos have been busy this offseason, signing linebacker DeMarcus Ware, safety T.J. Ward and cornerback Aqib Talib to add "energy and toughness" to a unit that clearly lacked it on the game's biggest stage in February.
This was all done with the realization that the road to the Super Bowl goes through New England.
"With their track record over the last 10 years, they're a team you're going to have to be able to deal with," general manager John Elway said last month. "For us to get done what we want to get done, you have to be able to beat them. It's a fun arms race, and we'll see what happens next year."
Manning, meanwhile, is looking to put the Seahawks game behind him for good.
"Yeah, you have to move forward. You have to kind of re-establish your identity of the 2014 team," he said. "The 2013 team was a good season in a lot of ways. There's no question it did not end the way we wanted it to. But we have to try to find a way to build off that, and try to take it a step further, try to finish."