Two years ago Peyton Manning opened up the NFL season by dropping a seven-touchdown mega bombs on the Baltimore Ravens.
Fast-forward to this weekend, there are a multitude of questions hanging over the 39-year-old quarterback. Manning hasn't looked settled into Gary Kubiak's new offense and his arm looks as weak as it ever has to open a season.
Still, Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisted that when he fires up Manning's game tape he still views the same player who dropped a seven-score load on him in 2013.
This feels like verbal genuflection from Harbaugh to one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Or he decided not to watch any of Manning's preseason passes -- .000022 percent chance.
Manning's arm looks limp, he hasn't thrown deep or been accurate on intermediate balls.
While we still expect the Broncos offense to be effective, Kubiak will rely on the ground game and shorter routes to get the ball out of Manning's hands quicker this season.
Even though Manning hasn't shown the deep-ball proclivity in the preseason, Harbaugh plans to be prepared if the veteran was sandbagging all of us and unfurls a fully operational arsenal in the opener.
"We're preparing for Peyton Manning, everything he's ever been and what we know he still is. He's a great player," Harbaugh said.