It’s safe to say that game will be the biggest game of the year and could be the biggest game in the Colts’ franchise history.
Some may debate that the two Super Bowl appearances or the 2007 AFC Championship Game at home against the New England Patriots were bigger, but the game against Peyton Manning will set ratings and attendance records.
This isn’t just anyone returning to Lucas Oil Stadium. It’s the man to built it.
Without Manning, the Colts are probably playing elsewhere. They were threatening to move if they didn’t get a new stadium. If Manning isn’t in Indianapolis and Ryan Leaf or someone else was drafted with that first pick of the 1998 NFL Draft, the Colts wouldn’t have had that success and the new stadium would have never came.
Needless to say, a Manning-led Colts team throughout the decade make a new stadium possible. He led the Colts to their only two Super Bowls in the Indianapolis era and he returns just over a year after they released him to rebuild this franchise.
Manning was loved in Indianapolis, and still is. People appreciate what he did for this city. It will be like Elvis is coming to town when Manning comes. That’s why it was a no-brainer for NBC to pick this game up. It will be weird seeing him playing in a different uniform in the same stadium he built just two seasons later.
Mix in that and the Colts’ success last season, and we have a big-time marquee matchup. The Broncos had the best record in the AFC last year and should be equally as good. The Colts have a team just as talented as Denver with the quarterback (Andrew Luck), who took Manning’s job.
It’s a dream game and a must-see. It could come down to this game for playoff seeding and home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.