He waited what felt like a lifetime for that moment. All the comparisons to Dan Marino and Tom Brady as well as the criticism that he would never win a Super Bowl, all flew out the window that night.
Peyton Manning has been to seven Pro Bowls - including six straight from 2002 to 2007 – and owns two MVP awards (’03 and ’04). He also has multiple awards and honors that would fill damn near an entire book. But none of that mattered to him or his critics as much as a Super Bowl victory.
Manning had tried unsuccessfully for years to win the big game. Brady had already won three Super Bowls, trampling Manning and the Colts multiple times in the process. After years of getting to the postseason but failing, many started to grow weary if Manning would ever once accomplish what Brady had thrice times already.
Sure, he broke the mark for passing touchdowns, passer rating and consecutive games with at least four touchdown passes in a single season in ’04, but none of that seemed to matter to those in most NFL circles…until he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy that is.
On February 4th, 2007, Manning led the Colts to Super Bowl XLI vs. the Chicago Bears. After Chicago’s Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, Manning immediately threw an interception on the Colts’ opening offensive series. On the sidelines, it appeared that panic started to grip the quarterback’s shoulder pads.
Here we go again the critics thought. Manning was blowing yet another opportunity for greatness. Why does he always choke in big situations? Was he going to blow his opportunity like all the years before?
After throwing the pick, Manning immediately responded with a touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne after Chicago’s secondary lost the receiver in coverage. Even though the game seemed close through, the final score could have been much worse. Manning put in a brilliant 25 of 38 for 247 yards, two touchdown passer performance in the Colts’ 29-17 victory. He was named MVP for the game, but even sweeter was the preverbal Super Bowl monkey he got off his back.After all the years of being abused by the Patriots, critics and even fans, Peyton Manning was finally a Super Bowl champion. Nobody can take that honor away from him and as he and his teammates prepare for the ’07 season, for the first time, he’ll be looking down from the top of the mountain.
Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning
The official website of the Indianapolis Colts provides in-depth career notes, stats and photos on their star quarterback.
The official website of Peyton Manning has a fan forum, news on his offseason and plenty of information about the quarterback’s NFL and personal life.
NFL.com: Peyton Manning
Small bio on Manning, but the true value of this site from NFL.com is the amount of stats they provide on Peyton.
Rotoworld Player Page: Peyton Manning
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Peyton Manning for your fantasy football team.
Peyton Manning Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Peyton Manning's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
Latest on Manning
Manning was again outstanding in 2007, passing for 4,040 yards, 31 touchdowns and compiling a 98.0 QB rating. His teammates didn't help him out much in the Colts' lone playoff game against the San Diego Chargers, however. Many of his receivers dropped passes or had balls go through their hands for turnovers. The Colts lost 28-24, which was a dissapointing end to the season, especially since they were in the Super Bowl just one year prior.
News and Commentary
Manning wins Big One as Colts beat Bears in Super Bowl
Feburary 4, 2007 was the day Peyton Manning officially got the Super Bowl monkey off his back.
Manning, Colts solve Pats with stunning rally
Before winning Super Bowl XLI, Peyton Manning and the Colts had to overcome their biggest postseason rivals, the New England Patriots, as well as a huge deficit in the ’06 AFC Championship Game.
Manning wins second consecutive M.V.P. trophy
Peyton Manning won his second consecutive M.V.P. trophy to go along with his record breaking season of 2004.
Manning breaks record with improvised play
ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli finds Peyton Manning’s record breaking 49th touchdown pass in 2004 amazing. But they way he did it, was just plain Peyton Manning.
Marino had four straight four-TD games
Ouch. On Thanksgiving Day, November 25th 2004, Peyton Manning broke Dan Marino’s four straight four-touchdown games with a fifth four-TD game in a 41-9 blowout of the Lions.
Colts QB Manning named Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
Not all good stories are put on the back burner of sports pages.
On if he is officially a winner after winning a Super Bowl:
"I've never played that card. I've never bought into that."
On whether or not he officially got the monkey off his back by beating the Patriots in the postseason:
“I don’t get into monkeys and vindication. I don’t play that card. I know how hard I worked this season, I know how hard I worked this week.”
On winning his second MVP trophy:
“I take my job very seriously, and I give it the attention and respect it deserves. I’ve always said this: I’ve never left the field after a game saying, ’I think I could have done more to get ready.”'
On breaking Dan Marino's record for touchdown passes in a season:
"It kind of all just fell together to make it special, I guess. I mean, had we lost the game, it would have been a downer. And the record wouldn't have been as important. But, yeah, the way it happened was pretty neat."