Peyton Manning's Colts Edge Past Tom Brady's Patriots in Historic Fashion, 35-34

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIINovember 16, 2009

It was one of the most satisfying victories I've experienced as a fan.

Not since the Colts' 18-point comeback in the 2006 AFC Championship game have I experienced the kind of excitement that Sunday's Colts vs. Patriots game delivered.

Much like had been the case back during that 2006 AFC Championship game, the Patriots jumped out to a substantial lead early in the game.

Logic had to tell you as a fan, the game is over.  But the magic of Peyton Manning and that Indianapolis Colts' offense is rarely logical.

How can you come back from a 17-point deficit while Tom Brady is shredding Indianapolis' first ranked defense?  How can you win when injuries become contagious for all three of your running-backs?  How can you win when, despite all of this, you still effectively have no running game?

And how can you win when the ball is in Tom Brady's hands with under three minutes left on the clock?

Sometimes Colts fans, miracles just happen.

We needed a few breaks, a couple of first downs, an inspired defense, a little Peyton Manning, and a whole lot of luck.

Thankfully, we were blessed with all of the above.

Standing calmly in the eye of the storm, Peyton Manning fired the game winning touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne with only 16-seconds remaining on the clock.

And so marked the 40th time that Peyton Manning has led the Colts to a fourth quarter comeback or a game winning drive (the most by any quarterback since he became active).

It should come as little surprise, but he didn't do it alone.

The Colts defense attacked Tom Brady and created just enough pressure to give the Colts offense one last opportunity to come through at the end.

It wasn't the cleanest victory by any means, but it was a win.

Now the Colts stand right at the top of the NFL with a 9-0 record and a two-game advantage over the second place Cincinnati Bengals (7-2) who deserve an immense amount of credit for defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier Sunday afternoon.

This also brings the Colts regular season winning streak to 18 consecutive games, tying the Patriots for the second longest streak in NFL history (the Patriots also own the number one spot with 21 consecutive victories).

Also worthy of note is the fact that Peyton Manning eclipsed the 350-touchdown pass mark with his first touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne. After tonight's game, he brought his career total to an astounding 353.

He also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw over 300 touchdown passes in a single decade (he became the first quarterback to throw for over 40,000 yards in a single decade last week).

Colts' head coach Jim Caldwell also became the first head coach to start his career by winning his first nine games.

It certainly was a historic night for the Indianapolis Colts.

But walking away from watching this game hasn't left me without respect for the enemy.

I hate the Patriots. As a matter of fact, I despise them.

But they played one hell of a football game.

Tom Brady was very sharp, and Randy Moss...what can I say?  Randy Moss is a beast who should be kicked out of every game after he eclipses 150 years, he's simply to dangerous for words to describe.

As for Bill Belichick, whom I consider to be the worst of the bunch, he is about to take a huge load of criticism for deciding to have his offense go for it on fourth and two.

Before the decision was made, I told myself that I would much rather New England punt the ball because I felt as though they would make the conversion if they decided to go for it.

If they did convert, everyone would have praised Belichick for making such a cut-throat decision that might have very well won his team the game.

He decided that he'd rather put the ball in Tom Brady's hands than Peyton Manning's.

In most cases it would have worked but sometimes the other team manages to make one more play than you did.

I could write an entire book about things to criticize Belichick for but this Sunday's fourth down decision isn't one of them, pick on something else.

And as for Tom Brady, I have to give him credit for going and speaking with Manning after the game because I know Manning would have done the same had the situation been reversed.

Even though Brady looked about as disappointed as I've ever seen him, he decided to show sportsmanship instead of running off the fieldkudos to you Mr. Brady.

Now, as I spit out a bit of the vomit that came up after my small amount of Brady-praise, I'll simply conclude this article by giving credit to both teams for playing yet another outstanding game.

I hope we have the chance to meet up with them again in the postseason.


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