When looking at the decade of the 2000s in the NFL, one of the premier rivalries was that between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, which, of course, featured quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning respectively.
Tonight, ESPN (8 p.m. ET) will re-air what was perhaps the onset of such a storied conflict, when Manning earned his first victory against the Patriots on the road in Foxborough.
Before then it wasn’t much of a rivalry, as Manning sported an 0-6 record against the Brady-led Patriots on the road (including playoffs), but the proverbial monkey would be off his back by night’s end, and the Colts didn’t waste any time in paying them back on the prime-time stage of Monday Night Football.
It was Week 9 of the 2005 season, and Manning started the night off with a bang — connecting with Marvin Harrison on a 48-yard bomb in the Colts’ opening drive and finishing it off with a touchdown pass to his all-time favorite receiver. Brady and the Patriots answered back and hung around for a majority of the game, but Manning and the high-powered Colts weren’t going to be stopped. Manning ended the game going 28 of 37 for 321 yards and three touchdowns (1 INT), and his Hall-of-Fame duo of receivers also had a night, with Harrison catching nine balls for 128 yards (2 TDs) and Reggie Wayne also grabbing nine passes for 124 yards and a score. Befittingly enough, the 40-21 final ended with a TD pass to Harrison, and the win continued the Colts’ undefeated season which was maintained all the way through Week 14.
The victory also prompted a one-sided span that favored Manning and the Colts, who went on to beat Brady and the Patriots in four of the next five matchups. The most important being in the following season when the squads met in the AFC Championship Game. Of course, the Colts would go on to win Super Bowl XLI in Miami that year, and a true rivalry between top teams was properly established.
Source: Read Full Article