As we are entering 2006, let us look back; view some other highlights of the season as we briefly look at the history of the Colts and where they are headed in the future.
In 2002, we see the 49ers hastily took on the NFC West by winning seven of their first nine games as the rest of the division struggled. As time went on the 49ers would only play average football as talk of an agrument with Coach Steve Mariucci and the front office disturbed he team much of that monh, as the 49ers won the NFC West with a record of 10-6. In the playoffs it looked as if the late season they were slacking as they fell behind 38-14 in the middle of the 3rd quarter at 3 Com Park against the New York Giants.
Quarter Back Jeff Garcia would spark a stirring comeback as the 49ers scored 25 unanswered points to take a 39-38 lead. However, they would have to survive a failed Giants field goal attempt to hold on and advance to the next round. In the Divisional Playoffs, the 49ers would fall behind early again, trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road 28-6 at halftime. However, this time there would be no comeback as the eventual Super Bowl Champions 31-6 mauled the 49ers. Following the playoffs, the 49ers would fire Coach Steve Mariucci regardless of making it to the second round of the playoffs.
In 2003, the 49ers started the season strong with a 49-7 win over the Chicago Bears. After that, they lost their next three games. When QB Jeff Garcia suffered back injuries, the team did a turn around headed for disaster as Garcia was sidelined with a back injury.
His back up Tim Rattay would come in and lead two straight wins to get the 49ers back to .500 at 5-5. Terrell Owens also suffered an injury that season with a broken collarbone in during practice. Without Owens, the 49ers weakened as they finished in 3rd place with a 7-9 record.
In 2004, the Colts began the season in the same place where their previous season ended. They began it in Foxboro with a Thursday Night kickoff against the New England Patriots.
Once again, the Patriots would frustrate Manning as the Colts lost 27-24, as a game tying drive was crushed by a sack as Mike Vanderjagt's attempt of a game tying FG went wide. There would not be much frustration the rest of the way for Manning and the Colts as he embarked on a record season passing for 49 Touchdowns breaking Dan Marino's 20-year old record as the Colts galloped to a second straight division title with a solid 12-4 record.
As each week, it seemed a different receiver would benefit from the great play of Peyton Manning who would earn him second straight NFL MVP award. After ending the regular season a meaningless loss to the Denver Broncos in the final game of the regular season with Manning and the rest of the regular sitting, the Colts faced the Broncos in the playoffs and it was a different story as the Colts behind the arm of Manning jumped out to a 35-3 halftime lead on the way to beating the Broncos 49-24. Manning had four TD passes and 457 yards passing, to earn a rematch with the Patriots in Foxboro.
As the Divisional Playoff in Foxboro began the snow began to fall and it was if a omen of things to come as the Colts never left the starting gate as the Pats playing with a banged up secondary frustrated Peyton Manning again, not allowing the Colts to reach the end zone in a dominating 20-3 victory.
Now in this season in 2005, we see this is the year of the Colts. With the Patriots not as good as last year, it is time for Peyton Manning and the Colts to take the next step and that is the Super Bowl. Expect another super year from Manning as the Colts run gallop their way to Detroit and end up with the Lombardi Trophy.