Looking back at the Colts' disappointing defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Titans last Monday night, it was hard to envision Indianapolis getting off the mat this time. In their new palatial home, Lucas Oil Stadium, they seemed to have anything but a definitive home field advantage with losses to Chicago and Jacksonville.
To compound matters, the perennially strong Patriots were in Indianapolis, a team that Manning has struggled against in the past. With all of that said, the man who will one day walk into Canton as the greatest signal-caller of all time, statistically or otherwise, had perhaps his best performance of the season, at least considering the circumstances.
Manning completed 21 of 29 passes for 254 yards, two touchdowns and of greater importance, no interceptions. Many of the Colts' problems were overcome by an outstanding effort from Manning, Anthony Gonzalez and stellar special teams, which included Adam Vinatieri nailing a 52-yard field goal.
While the Indianapolis defense allowed New England to drive the ball methodically down the field in many instances, which prevented Manning from being on the field for the most part, the bend but don't break philosophy worked well enough in the long run.
A glance at the Indianapolis schedule would suggest that they have several winnable games left so may NFL secondaries should be afraid as with much of November remaining, Peyton Manning has found his stride. The AFC is wide open, so don't count out the Colts.