The first round of our Greatest Game in Indianapolis Colts History Tournament continues this morning with an improbable win in a bad season against a back-and-forth thriller that kept the Colts unbeaten.
(6) 1997 vs. Packers
The Colts were 0-10, well on their way to the #1 overall pick, when the 8-2, defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers rolled into Indianapolis, with an epic QB match-up between Brett Favre and Paul Justin on tap. The Colts were 13 point underdogs that day, but that didn't stop them from a miraculous 41-38 win at the RCA Dome that Sunday. The Packers scored with just over five minutes remaining to tie the game at 38, and Justin and the Colts took the clock all the way down to three seconds, where Cary Blanchard kicked the game-winning 20 yard FG as time expired. Justin had a career high 340 yards passing on the day filling in for starter Kelly Holcombe (and holding off Don Majkowski and Kerwin Bell for the starting job), which really, really, really makes us take for granted now the high-level of QB play we've seen since that 1997 season (save 2011). In a season that had very few highs, this was certainly the highest, giving the hometown fans something to go crazy about.
(11) 2006 at Broncos
A match-up between two teams that were a combined 11-1 at the time, this was an exciting game that went back and forth game that saw five lead changes, as well as a tie at 31, but was the first we'd seen Adam Vinatieri kick a game-winning field goal with a horseshoe on his helmet. We'd obviously seen him do that many times in a previous life kicking for another team, but this was the first time with the Colts, banging home a 37 yarder with 1 second remaining to give the Colts a 34-31 win in Denver. Peyton Manning was 32-39 on the day for 340 yards (remember, he used to kill Denver) and three touchdowns, all to Reggie Wayne (12, 5, and 19), plus a two-pointer to Reggie to take a 31-28 lead in the 4th quarter. The Broncos tied the game just after the two-minute warning, which is an eternity for Manning. The anonymous RB that killed the '06 Colts: Mike Bell (15 for 136).
Voting closes at Midnight (PT) on Wednesday night (or possibly sooner). Get your vote in now!
Results from last match-up: '06 Chiefs WC 134, '07 Lions 126