DENVER – Peyton Manning's 17th NFL season ended on Sunday with a 24-13 loss to the Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
"It's very disappointing," Manning said after the game. "We all know what we want and you want to keep playing, you want to win your last game and it's disappointing when it doesn't come true."
The Broncos started the game strong on offense and defense, forcing a three-and-out by the Colts and marching 68 yards in seven plays for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
"After the first drive, certainly we felt good about that so I guess it was surprising after that we sort of had this level off and not as sharp of an execution," Manning said. "…After that I thought their defense played well and I thought our offense just didn't execute as well."
The Broncos' offense gained 236 yards over the remainder of the game, averaging 4.2 yards per play on the night. The Colts' defense was effective on third downs, allowing 4-of-16 conversions, two of which came in the final seconds with the Broncos down 11.
"They did a good job on third down," Manning said of the Colts. "They've done a good job on third down all season. You got to execute. You got to be sharp in your execution. Got to be able to make plays. I didn't think I made enough plays and offensively, we just thought that they were better than us on third down."
In the second quarter, Manning and his receivers had a few near misses on long passes, as Manning threw deep several times.
"I know I had two to Emmanuel where I thought he was open," Manning said. "I thought I could hit him and I just overthrew him a little bit. So those were two in particular I'd like to have back. I thought they could have been potential touchdown plays.
"And then some other ones, yeah I possibly could have, probably should have gone to a shorter throw."
Manning finished 26-of-46 for 211 yards and a touchdown with a 75.5 rating and a lost fumble. When asked how he thought he played, he responded, "not good enough."
"I think I'm as honest with myself as anybody else is and probably as critical of myself as anybody else is," Manning said. "And didn't play well enough today and didn't play well enough consistently in the second half of the season, especially in the games that we lost. And those are things that you'd like to be able to play better."
Asked if his health affected his play, Manning noted that the thigh injury he suffered in Week 15 in San Diego was still lingering and that he "felt good with it coming into the day." He said he didn't have any other injuries.
"Somebody said today two thigh injuries," he said. "That would be news to me. So I had that one thigh injury that I had in the San Diego game. It's kind of hung around but I felt like I tried to manage it. I felt like I could manage it."
Manning was asked about where his mindset is with regard to his future, to which he said "I'm processing it."
"My mindset right now is just disappointment after today's game," Manning said. "I kind of need to process this game and we'll meet tomorrow and kind of – I need to process this game. So I'm disappointed right now is what I am."
Check out photos of the Broncos' AFC divisional playoff game.
Check out photos from the second half of Sunday's game.