The Colts were once again just one game away from the Super Bowl in the 2006 season. But to get there, they had to go through their vaunted rivals: the New England Patriots. There was some poetic justice that the team had to go through them if they wanted to win the Super Bowl.
It didn’t start out well at all. The Colts were down 21-3 at one point after Manning threw a pick-six. They were down 21-6 at halftime, and it had the makings of yet another blowout at the hands of Tom Brady and company. But then Manning flipped the switch.
An offense that had been stagnant the entire first half all of a sudden burst into life. Manning started things off with a quarterback sneak midway through the 3rd quarter to bring the Colts back within 7 after a successful two-point conversion.
Then later in that quarter, he threw his only touchdown pass of the game to defensive tackle Dan Klecko to tie the game at 21. The Patriots would score later in that quarter to give them the 28-21 lead going into the fourth quarter.
In that fourth quarter, Manning would lead three successful scoring drives to help the team score 17 points in the decisive quarter. After accumulating 38 points, the defense stepped up and intercepted Brady on the final drive of the game to seal their trip to Miami.
That was the game that felt like the Super Bowl for most fans and a lot of the players as well. It is still one of the greatest moments in franchise history and Manning’s single best moment as an Indianapolis Colt.