Denver's future Super Bowl shot

Was this Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos' last shot at a Super Bowl? Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports

One year ago, Peyton Manning was still a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Ten months ago, he signed with the Denver Broncos. Four months ago, he played his first game in a Denver uniform. Two weeks ago, Manning and the Broncos clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. And on Saturday, the quarterback and his team were knocked out of the postseason by the Baltimore Ravens. It all happened very quickly, and now the Broncos and their fans are left wondering if they missed their shot at a Super Bowl.

The bad news is that they failed to capitalize on a remarkable season by their Hall of Fame quarterback. But the good news is that Manning's future prospects seem a lot brighter now than they did just one year ago.

Manning's 2012 campaign was so spectacular that it's easy to forget all he had to overcome along the way: a series of neck surgeries; a year away from the football field; a new team in a new city with new coaches and new teammates. And in the face of all that adversity, he thrived.