Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton.
Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

Turns out, Peyton Manning can hit his targets off the field too.

To get over the Broncos' season-ending playoff loss, Manning hooked up with an old buddy from Tennessee, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. They 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 last week.

Anything for Peyton to take his mind off Denver's 38-35 loss to Baltimore.

"He's trying to get it out of his system," said Archie Manning. "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. Peyton had been on the sideline for a year and could barely throw a football 10 yards — still recovering from multiple operations on his neck.

Archie Manning said doctors believe some of the nerves in Peyton's neck, shoulder and hand still have room to regenerate, meaning there's even more room for improvement in 2013 and beyond. The Associated Press