Since last season when everyone knew Peyton Manning was healthy and leading his Denver Broncos, and the Indianapolis Colts were once again a very good football team under Andrew Luck, the world was anxiously awaiting these two teams to play each other in Lucas Oil Stadium. After all, it was the “House that Peyton Built” and he was returning to it as a visitor.
This game has been hyped up all season as emotions went very high in the week leading up to it after all of the drama surrounding Colts owner Jim Irsay, Manning, former GM Bill Polian and former head coach Tony Dungy. Everyone was taking subtle jabs at each other as it was almost ruining the homecoming.
This was a game with the old quarterback who really put the Colts and Indianapolis on the map against his successor, the youngster trying to replicate Manning’s success. It was a very awkward game as comparisons were constantly drawn until the final horn sounded.
We all know the result. The Colts won 39-33 over the Broncos and showed they’re a legitimate Super Bowl title contender. It also showed that Luck is more than capable of leading the Colts to the same success Manning had as he actually outplayed the man he replaced.
Now that it’s all said and done, it’s time to move on for good. This team and city is all about Luck. No more Manning talk, no more drama — that old regime is long gone, even more so now that the past seems like miles away in the rear view mirror with last night’s win. Irsay was right last week when he said that they should have more than one ring after all that success. Now looks like more than ever that they can do so.
This is Luck’s team and Lucas Oil Stadium is his house now. There were too many people last night wearing Denver colors with Manning jerseys but said they were lifelong Colts fans and even season ticket holders. Guess what folks, this isn’t his house anymore. He lost in it to a second-year quarterback and was outplayed. The Colts beat him at his own game in the house that he built.
Yes, I’m very thankful for what Manning did for this franchise and city. If it wasn’t for him, LOS wouldn’t be standing and the Colts would be in a different city. But, that chapter is closed and the book is shut. Let’s rally behind Luck and see where he can take this team. It could be a joyous ride.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru