The Indianapolis Colts came into the game at 4-2, but Peyton and the Denver Broncos were undefeated and looking like one of the best teams in the NFL. In thrilling fashion, the Colts captured the 39-33 victory.
With Manning returning and Andrew Luck taking on his predecessor, Twitter was naturally going to be busy. As expected, there were plenty of half-and-half Manning jerseys out there, but this one probably wasn't the most well done.
The cheers were loud when Peyton came out onto the Lucas Oil field for the first time.
Peyton Manning gets a nice ovation when he runs on the field for warmups. Not surprising.— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) October 20, 2013
Chris Hagan from Fox 59 in Indianapolis provided us with this picture captured in the moment.
Manning wasn't the only one to get a loud ovation, according to George Bremer from The Herald Bulletin.
Luck gets a loud ovation as he's shown on the large video screens. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) October 20, 2013
Bremer also reported that both Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James were in attendance for the game. Now retired, both are possibly future Hall of Famers and were huge parts to some of Peyton's old teams with the Colts.
Marvin Harrison gets a loud ovation on the big screens. Loudest of the night so far. He and Edgerrin James are here tonight. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) October 20, 2013
Peyton wasn't the only former Colts player returning, however, as Chris Burke from SI.com hilariously pointed out.
What are the Colts doing to welcome back Jacob Tamme tonight?— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) October 20, 2013
The jersey choices were certainly interesting, including this one provided by ESPN's Darren Rovell.
Eric Yutzy from WTHR in Indianapolis provided us with this great picture of Harrison, James, actor Mike Epps and others.
The Broncos were introduced as a team rather than individuals, and Yutzy provided a video of the team going out onto the field.
But the cheers certainly got a heck of a lot louder. The Colts played a tribute video for Peyton, and you can see for yourself all of the reactions around the country.
Manning tribute on boards, just after Denver entered field. Can't hear it from press box. Loudest cheer when Peyton hoists Lombardi Trophy.— Phillip B Wilson (@pwilson24) October 21, 2013
Tribute video ends with Manning hoisting Lombardi. Then the No. 18 and "Thanks Peyton." #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) October 21, 2013
After the video tribute, Manning takes of helmet and waves to the fans. Standing ovation lasted about 2 minutes. Now time for football.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) October 21, 2013
One of the best QBs in the history of the NFL is getting the standing ovation he deserves.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 21, 2013
Peyton Manning is on the same status as Chuck Norris to Indy fans.— SportsNation (@SportsNation) October 21, 2013
Emotional Manning. Peyton knew this wouldn't be easy. pic.twitter.com/h295pRoE6G— Rod Mackey (@Rod9sports) October 21, 2013
Peyton Manning acknowledges the standing ovation from the fans in Indy. pic.twitter.com/IwUgnTsQoq— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 21, 2013
Rod Mackey from 9Sports.com reported that Manning still got more love than Luck before the game.
Showed Luck during anthem of jumbo trim a few cheers. Showed Peyton place went crazy again. 18 still way more popular than 12.— Rod Mackey (@Rod9sports) October 21, 2013
On Peyton's first drive of the game, the cheers were still incredibly loud. ESPN's Robert Flores had an interesting idea.
This is as loud as Lucas Oil Stadium has been all year. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) October 21, 2013
Despite all of the controversy heading into the game with Jim Irsay's comments, Colts fans still showed that this return for Peyton Manning was really special. The fans went crazy, and you could clearly tell that Peyton truly appreciated it.
Andrew Luck may be the starting quarterback right now, but Colts fans will never forget the man who brought them a Super Bowl and so many other terrific memories. It was one incredible return, and it's one that sports fans will never forget.