The time for Manning to sign with another team is drawing close, so I thought it would be appropriate to take a quick look back, through the magic of YouTube, at Peyton’s career in Indy.
In trying to do this exercise, I learned that the worst people in the world are those that upload videos of “Peyton Manning” making great plays in their Madden games. Those people have a special place in hell reserved for them. They rank slightly below those that do Peyton Manning tribute or imitation videos. In other words, there’s a lot of crap out there when you search things like “Peyton Manning” and “touchdown”. I didn’t get everything I wanted, and the YouTube era had not really begun when Manning’s career took off, but enjoy.
It all started on Opening Day of 1998, when the Colts lost 24-15. Manning threw his first career touchdown pass, to Marvin Harrison.
Was he happy or satisfied to throw a touchdown in the NFL? No, he was pissed he lost the game. Manning would go on to throw 26 touchdowns in his rookie year, but also 28 interceptions on a team that finished 3-13.
The next year, after drafting Edgerrin James and with Manning maturing in his second season, the Colts staged a big turnaround to 13-3, ultimately losing in the AFC Divisional Round to the Titans.
During this time, while becoming a star on the field, Manning was also becoming a star in the advertising world, showing his sense of humor in commercial after commercial.
After the Colts lost 41-0 at the Jets, kicker Mike Vanderjagt made some critical comments that angered Peyton Manning. Manning is not a fan of idiot liquored up kickers.
In 2003, on Monday Night Football, Peyton was part of one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, against the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on the road.
The next year, Peyton Manning set the single season touchdown record, breaking Dan Marino’s mark. Here is touchdown pass #49:
In 2006, Manning had another great season, but entered the playoffs again trying to shed the label that he couldn’t win the big one. That came to a head in the AFC title game, when the Colts fell behind 21-3 to the team that had owned them and probably prevented Manning from winning at least one ring. Manning led one of the great playoff comebacks, and the Colts went on to win the Super Bowl.
In November of 2009, Peyton Manning’s presence was so powerful that Bill Belichick opted to go for it from his own 29 with the lead, setting off a firestorm. Here is the touchdown pass to Wayne that followed that call.
Later that year, the Colts reached the Super Bowl, but the dream of a second ring in Indianapolis was dashed when Tracy Porter intercepted a late pass intended for Reggie Wayne.
In 2010, Peyton had another MVP season carrying a team that had lots of receiver injuries to the playoffs, but they couldn’t stop the Jets with time running out. Little did we know that would be his last in an Indianapolis uniform.
A year later, Manning was saying goodbye after a year out of the game with a neck injury.