Rahim Moore's fateful play at safety is the one we remember best from the Denver Broncos' AFC divisional-round playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens last season. What is talked about it less: Peyton Manning's lack of vertical throws like the one Joe Flacco made to turn the game around.
Manning dinked and dunked against the Ravens more than he had all season, to increasingly ineffective results. Whether it was the weather, Baltimore's defense or the strain of a long season, Manning didn't seem ready to test the Ravens up the field. After hitting on more deep throws than commonly realized for much of the season, the Broncos were station-to-station down the stretch.
That's something that Manning might be forced to get used to.
"(Manning) has learned in his offseason throwing sessions he still isn't throwing as well as he did before his four neck surgeries, but it's not bothering him, I'm told, because he knows nerve regeneration can take years," SI.com's Peter King wrote in his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column. "He's learned to use what he has and not worry about what he doesn't have."
Adding receiver Wes Welker to the Broncos' offensive stew will make the Broncos even tougher to cover between the hashmarks in 2013. Defenses might dare Manning to throw deep because the Broncos have an offense that test opponents more horizontally than vertically.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.