DENVER -- Stronger, healthier, feistier than ever.
"He didn't invite me to dinner," Swearinger said.
"Obviously, I'm concerned about Wes," Manning said. "I didn't like seeing him come out of the game with a blow to the head. He had one of those last year that kept him out for a while."
Besides, Manning said, 15 yards with 5 seconds left in the half, why not?
"I think if you're going to get one, that's a good time to get one," said Manning, who has never had a personal foul among his 60 career infractions in the regular season and playoffs.
Manning declined to reveal what he said to Swearinger, who was also at the center of several skirmishes during the teams' three days of intense joint practices during the week.
As for what Swearinger replied, "he said, 'Thanks, appreciate it. Good luck to you as well,'" Manning cracked.
Swearinger swore that he didn't cross the line with a cheap shot on Welker.
"I led with my shoulder. That's the only thing I could do. He's a short guy," Swearinger said.
"There are some fine lines with hits. I could have tried to go low, but he ducked his head. ... What am I supposed to do? I made a Hall of Famer mad."
Out of respect for Manning, however, Swearinger declined to reveal what the five-time MVP said other than to confirm foul language was exchanged.
"That is a Hall of Fame quarterback. I respect him," Swearinger said. "But he shouldn't have done what he did."
Manning's teammates wholeheartedly disagreed.
"I loved it," Marvin Austin said. "It's a beautiful thing. Peyton's not really a trash-talking guy."
Manning, who called out his offense earlier in the week for a sloppy practice, and Sanders found their rhythm after an early miscue. They connected for two long touchdowns in the final 67 seconds of the first half to give Denver a 17-7 lead.
Sanders, who practiced only sparingly this month because of a nagging thigh injury, was targeted eight times by Manning and caught five passes for 128 yards.
Manning texted Sanders on Wednesday night telling him he'd better get back in the lineup so they could work on their timing.
Sanders took the blame, but Manning called it "a poor throw and decision by me."
Sanders made up for his blunder when he zipped past Bouye and strong safety Eddie Pleasant to haul in Manning's 67-yard touchdown pass with 1:07 left in the first half. Then, he zigzagged between the same defensive backs for the 29-yard score with :05 left.
"It was good to get Emmanuel out there. I had not completed a pass to Emmanuel in a game yet," Manning said. "I wanted to get some completions to him. I think you want to complete some passes to a first-year receiver in this offense going into the season opener."
With all the work the teams put in together during the week, both head coaches dialed back the work they gave their starters.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press