February 4, 2007: Peyton Manning exercised his playoff demons and etched his name in NFL lore by winning a Super Bowl.
The Indianapolis Colts won Super Bowl XLI, 29-17, over the Chicago Bears during a rainy day in Miami.
Head coach Tony Dungy and the Colts (12-4) had built a potent offense led by Manning, a pair of 1,300 yard receivers in Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison, and rookie running back Joseph Addai with over 1,000 yards. Manning threw for over 4,000 yards, 31 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions. The Colts had the No. 2 defense in the league with Dwight Freeney terrorizing quarterbacks at defensive end. And let's not forget the Colts lured away New England Patriots' hero Adam Vinatieri.
The Bears (13-3), were one of the top defensive teams in the league, an embodiment of their coach Lovie Smith. Linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs were two of the best in the game, and gave up the fewest yards per drive in the NFL. On offense, quarterback Rex Grossman and Muhsin Muhammad at receiver gave them a threat.
Before making it to the Super Bowl, the Colts had to pull off a stunning upset of the arch nemesis New England Patriots after trailing 21-3 at halftime. On Super Bowl Sunday, Manning and the Colts started off slowly yet again, and before they knew it they were down after the opening play.
Devin Hester ran back the opening kickoff for a 92-yard touchdown. Manning was then picked off on a deep pass, but would get it going after that with a 53-yard pass to Wayne for a touchdown. The Colts missed the extra point and trailed 7-6. Grossman then hit Muhammad for a 4-yard score, making it 14-6.
From that point on, the Colts would dominate. They got a Vinatieri field goal and an Addai touchdown run to take a 16-14 halftime lead.
A pair of field goals gave the Colts a 22-14 lead. Chicago would get one of their own, giving them a chance in the fourth quarter. But with 13:38 left to play, Grossman made a huge mistake when Colts defensive back Kelvin Hayden intercepted a pass intended for Muhammad and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown. That ended up being all the Colts needed. Another interception killed all hopes. Finally, Manning and the Colts were Super Bowl champs after beating the Bears 29-17.
Manning was named the game's Most Valuable Player, completing 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown, with one interception for a passer rating of 81.8.
Here's to you, Peyton Manning and the Colts' Super Bowl win.