INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Colts fans have been treated to some indelible moments. Now, they have an opportunity to rate the top three games from the team’s Indy era and have full access to each on Youtube.
As part of an NFL initiative, each team is being asked to have its fan base vote for its top three games, and they will be available in their entirety on YouTube. Voting runs through June 27 and Colts fans may cast their ballots – five options are listed – by going to the Colts’ Facebook page.
Before we ventured to the Colts’ Facebook page to view the team’s options, we came up with our top three. Ours, in order of the pizzazz factor:
- The 2006 AFC Championship game victory over the New England Patriots in the RCA Dome. The 38-34 victory sent the Colts to Super Bowl XLI and remains, in our view, the most significant game in the franchise’s Indy era. Yes, more so than the subsequent championship-game victory over the Chicago Bears. The Colts finally exorcised the playoff demons of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and did so by staging the largest comeback in a conference championship in league history.
- The incredibly improbable 38-35 overtime victory at Tampa Bay Oct. 6, 2003. It was undoubtedly the best present Tony Dungy received for his 48th birthday. But that’s not the reason the game is forever etched not only in Colts’ history, but NFL lore. A good portion of the Indianapolis viewership for the Monday night game had long since given up and turned in for the night before Mike Vanderjagt’s 29-yard field goal with 3:47 remaining in overtime. With 5 minutes, 9 seconds remaining, the Colts trailed 35-14. They became the first team in league history to win after trailing by at least 21 points with 5 minutes remaining. I was at the game and have it on a CD, and still can’t believe they found a way to win it. It was impossible, until it wasn’t.
- The 2013 wild-card Houdini number against the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s another one you still have to see to believe. With 13:39 to play in the third quarter, the Colts trailed 38-10. When the scoreboard flashed 00:00, it was 45-44. It was the second-largest comeback in postseason history. And it provided that signature photo of Andrew Luck stretching for the goal line after picking up a Donald Brown fumble.
While those are our choices, the Colts are offering two others for fans to consider:
- The 2009 4th-and-2 game with the Patriots. What a finish. What a gamble by Belichick. The Patriots held a 34-28 lead with 2:08 remaining, but faced a fourth-and-2 at their own 28-yard line. Conventional wisdom screamed “Punt!’’ Belichick went for it. The rest is history. Kevin Faulk juggled a Tom Brady pass, Melvin Bullitt powered into Faulk and drove him back, just short of the first-down marker. Four plays later, Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne collaborated on a 1-yard touchdown that produced a 35-34 victory.
- The Super Bowl XLI victory over the Bears. The fact the 29-17 world-championship win probably won’t make the top-three cut is evidence of the level of sizzle the Colts routinely provided to their fan base.