I was thinking the other day about all the great games Peyton Manning has played over the years, and I got the idea to come up with a Top 10 list of his greatest games. I went through his collection of games, and actually came up with 15 that could make this list. Over the next couple weeks, I'll go through each game, re-live it, and bring back great memories of the past 10 years.
For Game #10, we'll go back to January 9, 2005 . It was Wild Card Weekend, and the Colts were hosting the Denver Broncos. The two teams had just "played" the previous week in Denver, although Manning only threw 2 passes in the Colts loss. Both teams already knew they would be playing each other the next week. Manning had also just broken Dan Marino's record for TD passes in a season, with 49.
The Colts started out slowly, only getting 1 first down on its first possession. After that, however, the rout was on. Manning hooked up with James Mungro for the first TD, and Edgerrin scored the second to go up 14-0. The Colts next possession took them down to the 3 yard line, where Manning made his only mistake of the day, an interception in the end zone.
Manning quickly made up for his mistake by leading TD drives on the next 3 drives: 19 yards to Clark, 35 yards to Wayne, and a 1 yard sneak (his first in 2 years) to go up 35-3 at halftime. Here were Manning's halftime stats:
Any quarterback that has those stats for a whole game is lauded as having a great game. Manning did this in one half. Needless to say, Manning and the Colts coasted in the second half to a 49-24 win. Manning added a 42 yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne in the 3rd quarter, giving him a final stat line of:
Manning had the second most passing yards in Playoff history, as Bernie Kosar had 489 for the Browns in 1987 (a 2OT game). This also was his third time of 70%+ completion percentage in the playoffs, which hadn't been done since Troy Aikman in the early 90s (he did it 7 times). He later had a 4th against KC in 2006. The Great Tom Brady has only done it once, this past season when Jacksonville let him pick their defense apart.
Game #9 is a regular season matchup against a familiar foe...