"He performs best in the most difficult situations," Caldwell said of Manning after the glitter had settled on the Colts' 30-17 AFC Championship Game victory against the New York Jets. "We faced as fine a defense as we've faced all year and he takes his game to different level."Wow. Manning completed 26-of-39 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions against the NFL's No. 1 defense. He brought the Colts (16-2) back from an 11-point deficit. The league's only four-time Most Valuable Player strutted his stuff.
His next opportunity will come Feb. 7 in Super Bowl XLIV. The Colts are going back to Miami, back to Sun Life Stadium, where they won Super Bowl XLI following the 2006 season, this time to meet the New Orleans Saints, who beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 in overtime Sunday night in the NFC Championship Game.
Sunday, when three mistakes put the Colts down 17-6 with two minutes to play in the first half, Manning flashed back to that 2006 season.
"It really reminded me of our championship game against New England," he said.
The Colts trailed 21-3 late in the first half that day. They came back to win 38-34.This time, through the guts of the game, with the crowd of 67,650 roaring and the Jets reeling, the Colts had five possessions and scored on four. Manning was 17-of-23 for 236 yards and three touchdowns on those four series. CONTINUE READING...