Peyton Manning is one of the greatest players in NFL history. Last weekend, he officially became a future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as part of a stacked 2021 class of inductees, after a sterling career with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. He led both franchises to Super Bowl victories.
Manning was the NFL MVP five times, more than any other player. He was a seven-time First-Team All-Pro, a 14-time Pro Bowler, and led the NFL in passing yards three times and touchdowns four times.
Needless to say, he has plenty of memories to choose from. When asked by NFL Network for his favorite moment from his NFL career, he went with the 2006-07 AFC Championship. Tom Brady and New England Patriots were Manning’s nemesis for years in Indianapolis. That year, he finally got past them and reached the Super Bowl.
“It’s so hard to pick one. Certainly Indianapolis, we had so many good years, just didn’t always finish the way that we wanted to. And then finally in 2006 we played the AFC Championship game at home, made a comeback against the great Tom Brady and the New England Patriots,” Manning said, via Colts.com. “I just remember, kinda from that time we took a knee to kinda the locker room, to getting to celebrate with my family. Had a great after party in downtown Indianapolis with family and friends and just the electricity in that city knowing it was the first opportunity for the World Championship to come to Indianapolis.”
"That was a moment where the entire city and state and the players all celebrated together."
That particular playoff game is also Peyton's favorite.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) February 12, 2021
“There was a buzz and a lot of confidence going down into that Super Bowl because we had finally gotten over the hump against the Patriots,” Manning continued, describing the impact of finally getting past Brady and Bill Belichick. “So I just remember kinda slowing down, having a chance to really take that night in and realize it is not just about you as a quarterback or your teammates. It is the fans, it is the people that have been going to the old Hoosier Dome since 1984 when the Colts moved from Baltimore. Some pretty lean years for a while. That was just a moment where the entire city and state and the players all celebrated together. That’s one that just sticks out as a pretty fun moment.”
Peyton Manning’s Colts came from down 21-3 to win 38-34, with Joseph Addai punching in the game-winning touchdown with a minute left. Manning outdueled Brady, throwing for 349 yards, and a touchdown, along with a rushing touchdown from a yard out.
Those Indianapolis Colts would go on to beat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI, securing Manning’s place as one of the all-time greats.