The Top 5 Games in which Petyton Proved just How Important he is to the Colts

I left a lot of games off this list, simply because there are so many to choose from. I think that I did a good job though. Plz Comment and Recommendations are appreciated. Oh and I like the Colts to beat the Pats this week in a close one, 28-24 with Peyton leading his third game-winning drive in the last three weeks. (He has 40 Game-Winning Drives, including playoffs, for those who are big into numbers. That's 3rd All-Time by the way. Tommy Terrific has 29 Game-Winning Drives for his career.)   

5. Divisional Playoffs 2004: Colts 38 - Chiefs 31

The first Playoff Game in NFL History in which neither team punted the ball, the Colts defense was able to recover a Priest Holmes fumble and come up with a fourth down stop late in the game but otherwise were absolutely gashed by Holmes who finished with 176 yards and 3 scores in his only playoff start for Kansas City. However, Manning and the Colts offense were completely unstoppable in this one as the only time they failed to score was a drive at the end of the first half with only a minute left in which the drive stalled thanks to an absolute whiff by the middle of the Colts line, allowing Turluck to come completley untouched on Manning. Manning spread the wealth throwing 6 passes to Harrison for 98 yards, one of only two playoff games in which he decided to actually show up, 6 to a young Reggie Wayne for 83 yards and a score, and 4 for 57 yards and a score to BBS favorite Brandon Stokley. He also threw a touchdown to little known tight end Tom Lopienski. Manning beat Kansas City's defense in every way: whether it was throwing short, long, or even checking to Edgerrin James and the running game, he totally dominated the Chiefs Defense. 

Finaly Tally: Peyton Manning: 22/30 (73.3%) 304 yards 3 TDs 0 ints. 138.8 Quarterback Rating

4. Week 11 2005: Colts 45- Bengals 37

With the Colts new dominant defense suddenly reverting back to its 2004 form, it looked as if the Colts perfect season was in jeapordy. There was just one problem. Peyton Manning was still playing quarterback for the Colts. Despite the Colts' defense surrendering 492 yards of offense, 328 yards passing from Palmer and 164 yards rushing, and a season high 37 points, the Bengals simply were helpless to stop Manning. Peyton led the Colts to touchdowns on their first five possesions in the first half on drives covering 83, 66, 68, 74, and 40 yards. He capped three of those drives with touchdown passes, each to different receivers. (Clark, Fletcher, Wayne) The Colts led 35-27 at HALFTIME. If it weren't for a fluke inteception in which Manning tripped over Ryan Lilja's leg while planting his leg during his throwing motion, causing the ball to sail, then his numbers could have been even more prolific. In the second half Manning slowed down the pin ball like scoring pace of the game by orchestrating 15 and 10 play drives that produced 10 points and took over 13 minutes off the clock.

Final Tally: Peyton Manning: 24/40 (60%) 365 yards 3 TDs 1 int. 104.7 Quarterback Rating   

3. Week 2 2009: Colts 27 - Dolphins 23

The Colts Defense decided that it would be the perfect time to mesh its 2008 defense and its 2006 defense together. The Dolphins ran the ball for 239 yards and converted a simply insane 15/21 (71.4%) third downs. They held the ball for a team record 45:07. About the only thing the Colts defense did right was hold the Dolphins to field goals for the majority of their trips into the red zone, even if Saprano played for the field goal twice. Because of his limited possessions, Manning had to all but abandon the running game, only 11 attempts, yet the Colts were effective when they did run, average 5.5 yards a carry. The Colts offense held the ball for 14:53, the lowest time of possession for a winning team in NFL History. The Dolphins had the perfect gameplan offensively to stopping the Colts offense. The only problem was that its defense couldn't stop Peyton Manning. Manning averaged 13.2 yards per attempt and set a career high, averaging 21.6 yards per completion. With top target Reggie Wayne seeing triple coverage for most of the game, Manning looked for tight end Dallas Clark early and often. He hit Clark with an 80 yard touchdown pass on the first offensive play of the game and found Clark again on a 49 yard completion in the fourth quarter in which Manning, slid to his left, threw-on-the-run to Clark who was cutting across the field where he then proceeded to go down the sideline for about 20 extra yards. The Dolphins also seriously underestimated Manning in a two minute situation late in the first half. With 43 seconds on the clock and no timeouts down by three, Manning drove the Colts down the field in just 6 plays, hitting Clark, who was able to get out of bounds with two seconds left for a 20 yard gain to set up Vinatieri's 48 yard field goal to tie the game at 13 at halftime. After the Defense held Miami to a field goal after another lengthy drive, Manning got the ball back down by three with 3:50 to play and all three timeouts. Manning didn't need any of them as he drove the Colts 80 yards in just 4 plays, going 3/4 on the drive, throwing a 48 yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon with 3:18 to play on a screen pass that he audibled to at the line of scrimmage. Antoine Bethea made an interception on the game's final play to preserve the win.

Final Tally: Peyton Manning: 14/23 (60.9%) 303 yards 2 TDs 0 ints. 133.9 Quarterback Rating

2. Week 8 2006: Colts 34 - Broncos 31

Playing against a defense that had surrendered just 44 points through the first 6 games, a feat not achieved since 1934, Peyton was practically perfect. Despite having only 9 possessions for the game, Manning and the Colts scored on seven of them, including all 5 in the second half, only having to punt once. The only other possession in which the Colts failed to score was a kneeldown by Manning to end the first half. The Colts atrocious run defense gave up just 47 yards to the Broncos in the first half, however Jake Plummer frequently beat the Colts on rollouts that resulted in him routinely hitting his receivers for big gains and effectively neutralizing the Colts' Pass Rush. The Broncos proved to be tough to stop in the red zone with Plummer scoring on a 1 yard sneak and throwing a 15 yard touchdown pass to Javon Walker with 22 seconds to play before halftime. The Colts offense was forced to settle for long drives and had to deal with a struggling ground attack in the first half that produced just six yards on 5 carries in the second quarter. Manning was forced to go underneath for much of the first half and was unable to find Marvin Harrison much with Champ Bailey in coverage. Peyton was 14/17 (82.4%) for 132 yards in the first half and while those numbers seem solid, the Colts only produced 6 points in the first half and trailed by 8 at halftime. In the second half, Manning began to get more man to man looks from the Broncos defense and frequently went to Reggie Wayne, who was playing against Darrent Williams (may god rest his soul), in the second half. Manning capped a 6 play 56 yard drive with a 12 yard touchdown pass to Wayne to cut Denver's lead to one point. The defense made their lone play all game on the next series, as Dwight Freeney sacked Plummer and forced a fumble that Raheem Brock recovered at the 12 yard line of the Broncos. Manning made quick work of the short field, capping the three play drive with a 5 yard touchdown pass to Wayne to give the Colts the lead 20-14. For the remainder of the game the Colts Run defense began to take over, giving up 180 yards in the second half. The Defense allwoed the Broncos to march 91 yards for a score and put them out in front 21-20. Manning drove the Colts 50 yards in eight plays as Adam Vinatieri, who was 4 for 4 on field goals for the game, hit a 48 yarded to give the Colts a 23-21 lead. However the Colts defense allowed Denver to go 80 yards, their fourth TD drive of 80 yards or more in the game, in just eight plays as Mike Bell, who rushed for 136 yards, scored from a yard out. Despite the Defense's ineptitude, Peyton went back to work going 80 yard in only seven plays, going 6/7 for 75 yards on the drive, throwing a 19 yard touchdown pass to Wayne and then a two-point conversion to Wayne to give the Colts a 31-28 lead. On the touchdown, Manning pumped to the outside which froze Williams for a split second and allowed Wayne to run a double move right by him. Manning then kept the ball thin to Wayne's right shoulder where Reggie easliy caught it for six. After scoring  the touchdown, Manning and the offense pleaded with the defense to stop the Broncos offense. The Defense responed by giving up a 48 yard run to Bell in which the Colts whiffed on about five or six tackles before Bell evetually ran out of bounds. Luckily, Tatum Bell came in to relieve Mike Bell and proceeded to trip and fall on consecutive plays while Plummer was able to escape a sack yet threw too low for Rod Smith, forcing the Broncos to settle for Elam's 49 yard field goal. However, Mike Shannahan left 1:49 on the clock for Manning, who only needed to get the ball into Vinatieri's field goal range. Peyton was 5/5 for 47 yards on the drive, 14/16 (87.5%) for 164 yards and a score in the 4rth quarter, and only had to use one of his two timeouts and even called a running play. Vinatieri nailed the 37 yarder and the Colts were 7-0.

Final Tally: Peyton Manning: 32/39 345 yards 3 TDs 0 ints 129.2 Quarterback Rating

1. Week 16 2008: Colts 31 - Jaguars 24

Despite the Colts defense giving up 329 yards passing to David Garrad, allowing Maurice Jones-Drew to gain 162 total yards, being down by 14 at one point and 10 points twice, and only rushing for 32 yards all game, the Colts still won. In arguably his best performance maybe ever, Peyton threw for 364 yards and touchdowns to three different receivers. He completed his first 17 passes to start the game, including two absolute beauties to Dallas Clark down the middle and along the sideline, and counting his final six against Detroit the week before, threw 23 completions in a row which is the second most in NFL History over a two game span. With the Jags up 14-0 in the first quarter after two long drives, Manning capped a 5 play 63 yard drive with a 41 yard touchdown pass to Wayne. The Jags added a field goal before intermission to give themselves a 17-7 lead at the half. In the second half, Manning drove the Colts 75 yards in nine plays, throwing his first incompletion of the game on a miscommunication with Gonzalez, capping the drive with a 10 yard touchdown to Dominic Rhodes on a beautifully executed middle screen. Unforetunately the Colts defense let the Jags mount another long drive and Montel Owens capped it off with a 1 yard touchdwon to up the Jags lead back to 10. However Peyton wouldn't be denied. Peyton capped an 11 play 81 yard drive with a 1 yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark on third and goal. After the Colts defense forced a rare three and out, Manning went back to work. He moved the Colts 52 yards in 10 plays, ending the drive with Vinatieri's 45 yard field goal to tie the game at 24. After two Jones Drew runs, Garrarrd telegraphed a pick six right to Keiwan Ratliff and the Colts went on top 31-24. The Colts defense imposed its will on the Jags offensive line on the next series as Raheem Brock broke through for his second sack of the game and forced the Jags to punt. However, on 3rd down and 1 from his own 47. Manning tried to pick up the first down on a run and Rhodes ended up losing a yard and the Colts were forced to punt. Garrard drove the Jags the length of the field reaching the Colts seven yard line where he missed a wide open Reggie Williams on first and goal and was sacked by Dwight Freeney for a nine yard loss on second and goal, effectively ending the game and giving the Colts the fifth seed in the playoffs as well as allowing Manning to secure his third MVP Trophy.

Final Tally: Peyton Manning: 29/34 (85.3%) 364 yards 3 TDs 0 ints. 140.7 Quarterback Rating        

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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