INDIANAPOLIS — XLI was good to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
And as Manning turns XLI on Friday, we all hope the age of 41 treats the legendary quarterback just as well.
We're referring, of course, to Super Bowl XLI, in which Manning and the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears, 29-17, at Dolphin Stadium on a rainy night in Miami, Fla.
The rain was merely an annoyance for Manning, who would be named the game's Most Valuable Player after utilizing a strong performance from his offensive line throughout the evening to complete 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards with a touchdown and an interception each.
The performance is undoubtedly the highlight of Manning's Colts career, which got us thinking on this day: what other significance does the number 41 mean when it comes to The Sheriff in Indy? We found some highlights:
- Sept. 6, 2007: The Indianapolis Colts defeat the New Orleans Saints, 41-10, to open up the 2007 season with a bang. Ironically, it was the first regular season game after winning Super Bowl XLI. Manning completes 18 of 30 passes for 288 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a cool QB rating of 125.4.
- Nov. 21, 2004: The Colts go on the road to defeat the Bears (ironically, their Super Bowl XLI opponent), 41-10. Manning has another sterling performance: 17-of-28 passing, 211 yards and four touchdowns to one interception.
- Nov. 25, 2004: Just four days later, Indianapolis had to travel to Detroit to take on the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Manning would put together perhaps the best overall performance of his career in the Colts' 41-9 victory: 23-of-28 passing for 236 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. His QB rating that day? 141.4.
- Jan. 4, 2004: The Colts play host to the Denver Broncos in the Wild Card round of the playoffs at the RCA Dome, and advance with a 41-10 victory. Manning is stellar, putting together the second perfect QB rating performance in NFL playoff history; in all, he completed 22 of 26 passes for 377 yards with five touchdowns and no picks.
- Dec. 16, 2001: The Colts top the Atlanta Falcons, 41-27, in Indianapolis. Manning completes 23 of 35 passes for 325 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, and was able to shake off a rusty performance in a loss the week before to the Dolphins (ironically, in Miami). The score of that game? 41-6.
- BONUS — Dec. 23, 2013: Manning, then with the Broncos, and his fellow team captains — in Houston for a game the next day against the Texans — joined head coach John Fox on a visit to see President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. Bush was the 41st U.S. President.
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