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January 21st, 2007, will forever go down in infamy for not just the Indianapolis Colts, but for any fan of the NFL.
That date is a date any Colts fan will remember like a birthday, anniversary, or life-changing moment. Many Colts fans remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on this day.
This was the first ever home AFC Championship Game the Colts had ever hosted. The hype around the city the week leading up to this game was bigger than any moment the city has ever seen.
This was the big bad evil Patriots who have knocked the Colts out of the playoffs every year it seemed. The weather and fact of playing in New England was always the excuse for the Colts in losing in the playoffs to New England. This year, there were no excuses anymore. If they were to ever make a trip to the Super Bowl, this was it.
The raucous crowd was what I thought was the loudest I have ever heard a crowd roar in the first quarter of this game, until the Patriots ruined it.
New England jumped out to a 21-3 lead, with Patriots corner Asante Samuel intercepting a Peyton Manning pass and returning it 39 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
That moment you could have heard a pin drop in the once raucous dome.
Peyton Manning led the Colts 80 yards on 15 plays at the end of the half to set up an Adam Vinatieri 26-yard field goal to put the Colts down 21-6 heading into the half.
The Colts scored on the first possession of the second half to cut the Pats lead to 21-13.
After forcing a Patriots punt on their next possession, the Colts drove down the field, and Manning hit defensive lineman Dan Klecko on a one-yard touchdown pass. Following that, Manning hit Marvin Harrison for a two-point conversion and tied the game at 21.
The Patriots scored next to take a 28-21 lead.
The Colts on their next possession drove down the field, but running back Dominic Rhodes fumbled the ball in the endzone. Miraculously, Colts center Jeff Saturday recovered the ball for a touchdown, to tie the game at 28.
At this point, I knew this game was going to be something special in that three linemen had already scored in this game.
The teams then traded field goals until Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski hit a 43-yard field goal to give the Patriots a 34-31 lead with only 3:49 left.
The Colts and Patriots then traded punts, with the Colts getting the ball back with just over two minutes left.
The Colts were led on a magical drive, with Joseph Addai scoring a three-yard touchdown run, giving the Colts a 38-34 lead with only a minute left in this classic game.
That was the Colts' first lead in the game, and after I thought the crowd couldn't get any louder earlier in the game—it did.
The intensity and anticipation of stopping the evil Patriots to earn a trip to Miami was on the line, and you literally couldn't hear the person next to you, it was so loud. Your ears would ring, and you could feel the noise through your body.
Marlin Jackson intercepted Tom Brady with 17 seconds left, and all mayhem broke loose.
This was the greatest comeback in NFL Conference Championship game history, and the fourth largest comeback in NFL postseason history.
This was by far the greatest moment I have ever witnessed in person. Grown adults were crying. People were screaming with joy. Others were just so shocked at what they had just witnessed in that they were hugging and embracing each other's joy and excitement with complete strangers, while Will Smith's hit song "Welcome to Miami" blared through the stadiums sound system welcoming the Colts to Miami for the Super Bowl.
This is by far the greatest game in not just Colts-Patriots history, but in NFL history.