Peyton Manning's Greatest Games - #8

1022harrison_medium

via www2.indystar.com

Game #8 takes us back to October 22, 2000, where the 4-2 Colts took on then division rival New England.  The Patriots had beaten the Colts just two weeks prior, and the Colts had lost 8 of the last 9 games with New England.  This is the one game on the list that there isn't a lot of information for on the internet, so it will be a little less descriptive than the others.

The game did not start off well for Manning and the Colts, as the Bledsoe-led Patriots took the opening kickoff and went on an 18 play, 89 yard, 8:49 touchdown drive to lead 7-0.  Manning didn't even get on the field until there were only 6 minutes to go in the first quarter, but made the most of his opportunity.  He hit Marvin Harrison for a 51-yard TD pass, tying the score at 7.  The Colts had 82 yards on their opening drive.  They only had 29 yards the rest of the half, as the Patriots dominated, going up 13-7 at halftime. 

New England tacked on another field goal to up 16-7.  Manning had seen enough of these long drives by New England.  He needed points, and needed them fast, so he picked on Otis Smith again, and found Harrison for a 78 yard touchdown pass to make it 16-14.  Manning now had 2 long touchdown passes, in conjunction with few incompletions, so he was hovering around a perfect passer rating of 158.3, even though the Colts were losing.  The Patriots got the ball back, and marched down the field on a tired Colts defense, and scored again to go up 23-14.

Then Manning, with the help of Edgerrin James, and the defense, led the Colts to one of his many 4th quarter comebacks.

They scored in 8 plays, then again in 6 plays, thanks to a heavy dose of James and Manning's accuracy, to go up 27-23.  The defense got a stop, and Vanderjagt added a field goal on at the end for the final of 30-23.  The Colts scored 16 unanswered in the 4th quarter, and Manning finished off his first of 4 (so far) perfect passer ratings.  Here are his final stats:

Comp Att Yds Y/A TD INT Rating
16 20
268 13.4 3
0
158.3

Manning leads the Colts back from a 4th quarter deficit against his (future) rival, and completes his first perfect passer rating, all while only having the ball for 20:59.  Not a bad day for #18, as it makes #8 on Manning's Greatest Games list.

In Game #7, Manning pulls his team out of a rut, on his way to great things...

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