Manning followed up his stellar 2003 season which gave him his first MVP with an even better campaign in 2004. He was so good that he won his second consecutive MVP and led the team to another 12-4 record. But it was his touchdown throwing that make this season even more special.
In that great 2004 season, Manning broke Dan Marino‘s single-season touchdown record of 48 with a pass to Brandon Stokely in the second to last week of the season against the Chargers. His 49 touchdown passes were a new NFL record but would be broken the next year by Tom Brady.
Shockingly, this wasn’t the most touchdowns that Manning would throw in a season. He would eventually break Brady’s record as a Bronco in 2013 with 55 touchdown passes. But his 2004 season was the best season any Colts player had in franchise history, and still might be.
Manning showed the league that he was a top player in the NFL this season. He established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in modern history. His back-to-back MVP’s showed that he was not going anywhere anytime soon and that the Colts were a team to be reckoned with.
The next great moment in Manning’s career happened in that fabled 2006 season where the Colts returned to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1970’s. His second-best moment happened in that final game of the season, where he cemented his legacy.