Peyton Manning bids Ray Lewis adieu
It was a private moment captured for posterity's sake, but it could serve as an iconic, offseason reminder for the Denver Broncos of who they have behind center.
A humbled Peyton Manning, with reporters hammering away on deadline and videocameras shut off after the last postgame question had been answered, took his family into the Ravens' locker room on Saturday night to visit a fellow future Hall of Famer.
Manning eventually found Ray Lewis, according to Ravens media director Chad Steele in a caption accompanying a photograph he posted to Twitter.
"Great moment @ 1.5 hours after the game, Peyton Manning and his family waited to congratulate @raylewis52," Steele's tweet said.
Lewis, who will retire after the playoffs to cap a 17-year career, will play on after the Ravens stunned the host Broncos 38-35 in two overtimes, a loss that goes down with the most devastating in Denver history.
"Certainly we did a lot of good things this season, but as of right now, it's hard to think about anything besides the loss tonight," Manning said afterward.
Manning did enough in regulation to help his team win, despite the first two turnovers. But he also was not perfect. He wasn't at his best, whether it was due to the weather or the pressure of leading his new franchise to a playoff win.
"I probably wasn't quite as good as I wanted to be," Manning said, "and it probably cost us a couple scoring opportunities."
On Denver's second possession of overtime, he stopped and threw across his body to the middle of the field and into the arms of Ravens cornerback Corey Graham at Denver's 45. Baltimore ran five plays and gained 16 yards before Justin Tucker sailed his winning kick down the middle.
"Yeah, bad throw," Manning said. "Probably the decision wasn't great, either. I thought I had an opening, and I didn't get enough on it, and I was trying to make a play and certainly a throw I'd like to have back."
Lewis, who led the Ravens with 17 tackles over this nearly 77-minute game in 13-degree weather, kneeled down to the ground and put his helmet on the rock-solid turf when it was over.
"I've never been a part of a game so crazy in my life," Lewis said.
Information from ESPN.com's Bill Williamson and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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