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Peyton Manning says 2006 AFC Championship is his favorite NFL memory
Throughout his 18 seasons in the NFL, Peyton Manning made plenty of memories, some that other players would kill to have just one of. But among all of his moments as a professional football player, one stands out to Manning, who was just recently elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“It’s so hard to pick one,” Manning said, according to the Colts’ team website. “Certainly Indianapolis, we had so many good years, just didn’t always finish the way that we wanted to. And then finally in 2006 we played the AFC Championship game at home, made a comeback against the great Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. I just remember, kinda from that time we took a knee to kinda the locker room, to getting to celebrate with my family. Had a great after-party in downtown Indianapolis with family and friends and just the electricity in that city knowing it was the first opportunity for the World Championship to come to Indianapolis.”
The 2006 season was Manning’s ninth with the franchise after he was drafted first overall in the 1998 NFL Draft. Indianapolis had been to the playoffs six times before that year but had never advanced past the conference championship game. But the 2006 season was one that was rather strong for the Colts.
After going 14-2 the year prior and losing in the divisional round, the Colts went 12-4 in 2006. Indianapolis was the No. 3 seed in the AFC that year and used impressive defense to eliminate the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens. Manning and the Colts then faced Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, which ended in a 38-34 win for the Colts. In the game, Manning was 27-of-47 for 349 yards and a two touchdowns, one throwing and one rushing.
The Colts then faced the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl, which ended in a 29-17 win. It became the first of two championships Manning won in his legendary career, but the only one he brought to the city that drafted him.