Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. Considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time, Manning holds the record for most NFL MVP awards with four. He was drafted by the Colts as the first overall pick in 1998 after a standout college football career with the Tennessee Volunteers. He is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the older brother of current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Manning holds NFL records for consecutive seasons with over 4,000 yards passing and the most total seasons with 4,000 or more yards passing in a career. Manning holds the fourth-highest career passer rating (95.2) behind only Steve Young (96.8), Phillip Rivers (95.8), and Tony Romo (95.6). He is the all-time Colts franchise leader in career wins, career passing yards, pass attempts, pass completions, and passing touchdowns.
Since the Colts drafted Manning in 1998, the team has the highest conversion rate on 3rd down (44.6%) and 4th down (61.1%) plays in the NFL. While leading the Colts to their Super Bowl XLI victory in 2007, Manning helped the team to an NFL record by converting 56.1% of its 3rd downs.
An extremely marketable player outside of football, Manning has appeared in numerous commercials, was featured on the covers of the NFL Fever games for the Xbox, hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, and guest-voiced on The Simpsons, along with his brothers, Eli and Cooper.
Manning’s pre-snap routine has become one of the most recognizable scenes in the NFL. Prior to each play in a football game, the offensive team generally huddles; however, Manning and the Colts almost always skip the huddle, instead using a hurry-up offense with numerous audibles at the line of scrimmage.
High school career
Manning attended Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Louisiana. He led his team to a 34–5 record during three seasons as starter. He was named Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player-of-the-Year and Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club National Offensive Player-of-the-Year in 1993.
Manning stunned many when he chose to attend the University of Tennessee instead of Ole Miss, his father’s alma mater. He became Tennessee’s all-time leading passer with 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns and won 39 of 45 games as a starter, breaking the Southeastern Conference (SEC) record for career wins.
As a freshman, Manning was the third-string quarterback, but injuries to future Major League Baseball All-Star first baseman Todd Helton, and Jerry Colquitt forced him to take over the Mississippi State game, a 24–21 loss. In his first start, the following week against Washington State, the Vols won, 10–9, and the Vols won all but one of their remaining games, finishing the season 8–4 with a 45–23 victory over Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl.
Manning and the Vols started off the 1995 season with victories over East Carolina and Georgia, before heading off to Gainesville to play the Gators. Against Florida, he threw for 326 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading the Vols to a 30–21 halftime lead. However, the Gators outscored the Vols 41–7 in the second half, winning 62–37. This would be the Vols’ only loss of the season, as they won their remaining 8 regular season games, including a 41–14 win over Alabama and then defeated Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl. The Vols ended the season ranked third and Manning came in sixth in Heisman Trophy voting.
The Vols opened the 1996 season ranked second behind Nebraska and one of the favorites to win the national championship. However, after winning their first two games against UNLV and UCLA, the Vols again lost to Florida, 35–29, with Manning throwing four interceptions. After winning their next four games, the Vols were upset by Memphis, despite Manning passing for 296 yards. The Vols won the remainder of their games, including a 48–28 win in the Citrus Bowl over Northwestern, a game in which Manning passed for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns; he was named the game’s MVP.
Manning completed his degree in three years, and was projected to be the top overall pick in the NFL Draft, but returned to Tennessee for his senior year. In his senior season, the Vols opened the season with victories against Texas Tech and UCLA, but for the third time in his career, Manning fell to Florida, 33–20. The Vols won the rest of their regular season games, finishing 10–1, and advanced to the SEC Championship game against Auburn. Down 20–7, Manning led the Vols to a 30–29 victory. Throwing for 4 touchdowns, he was named the game’s MVP, but injured himself in the process. The 3rd-ranked Vols were matched-up with 2nd-ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl; if Tennessee won and top-ranked Michigan lost to Washington State in the Rose Bowl, the Vols would win the national championship. However, the Vols’ defense could not stop Nebraska’s rushing attack, giving up over 400 rushing yards in a 42–17 loss. As a senior, Manning won numerous awards; he was a consensus First-team All-American, the Maxwell Award winner, the Davey O’Brien Award winner, the Johnny Unitas Award winner, and the Best College Player ESPY award winner, among others; however, he did not win the Heisman, finishing runner-up to Charles Woodson. In 2005, Tennessee retired Manning’s number (#16). One of the streets leading to Neyland Stadium has been re-named Peyton Manning Pass. Manning was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1997.
1998 season: Rookie season
Manning was selected first overall in the 1998 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his rookie season, he passed for 3,739 yards with 26 touchdowns, set five different NFL rookie records, including most touchdown passes in a season, and was named to the NFL All-Rookie First Team. Manning’s first win came against fellow rookie quarterback Ryan Leaf, 17–12 over the Chargers. Weeks later, Manning faced off against Steve Young; he threw three touchdowns, tying a Colts rookie record, but the 49ers kicked a late field goal to win, 34–31. In November against the Jets, Manning threw for three touchdowns in a 24–23 win; he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this performance. It was the first game-winning drive of Manning’s career, as he hit Marcus Pollard with the game-winning TD pass. Manning was certainly a bright spot in 1998 for the Colts, but he also threw a league high 28 interceptions and the team limped to a 3–13 record thanks mostly to a defense that surrendered more than 27 points per game. The Colts lost many close games, including five games in which they had led by double-digits at some point.
1999 season: First 4,000 Yard season
The Colts opened the 1999 season with a 31–14 victory over Buffalo, but gave up a 28–7 lead the following week against the Patriots and lost. After defeating San Diego 27–19 in a game in which Manning threw for over 400 yards, and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for they lost again, to Miami. The Colts responded by winning 11 of their remaining 12 games, finishing 13–3 and the AFC East champions. The 10 game turnaround from the previous year set an NFL record. As the second seed in the AFC, the Colts earned a first round bye, and faced Tennessee in the playoffs. The Colts lost 19–16 to the Super Bowl bound Titans and Manning was limited to one touchdown run. Manning finished the year with 4,135 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns, and was named both Second-team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl, both firsts for him. In the Pro Bowl, he passed for 270 yards with 2 touchdowns.
The Colts started the 2000 season inconsistently. Following an opening week victory against Kansas City, they blew a 21–0 lead against the Raiders. The Colts responded with a Monday Night victory against Jacksonville, a 43–14 win in which Manning threw for 430 yards and 4 touchdowns; Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this performance. The Colts won 4 of their next 5 games, including one against New England in which Manning posted the first perfect passer rating of his career, but then lost 4 of the 5 games following that. The Colts regained their momentum, winning their final 3 games, including a 31–10 win over Minnesota on Week 17. Manning threw for 4 touchdowns in the win and was again named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and the win gave the Colts a 10–6 record as well as a wild card spot in the playoffs. In the wild card game, the Colts fell to the Dolphins, 23–17 in overtime. Manning passed for 194 yards and a touchdown in the loss. He finished the season with 4,413 passing yards and 33 passing touchdowns and was named Second-team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl. At the Pro Bowl, Manning threw two touchdown passes.
Manning and the Colts introduced the league to their now-signature no-huddle offense, and used it to great effect in a Week 1 rout of the Jets, 45–24. Two weeks later (Week two games were not played as scheduled due to the 9/11 attacks, the Colts advanced to 2–0 with a win over Buffalo, behind Manning’s 421 yards passing. He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this game. However, the Colts lost the following week to New England, and continued their slide losing their following two games. The Colts briefly rebounded, winning two games, but then lost seven of their last nine, including a 40-21 home loss to the 49ers. After Manning threw a career-high four interceptions in that game, coach Jim Mora uttered his infamous “Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me. Playoffs? I’m just hoping we can win a game, another game” press conference. Despite the 6-10 record, Manning finished the season with 4,131 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, and 4 rushing touchdowns as the offense produced the second most points in the league. However, the defense allowed the most points and Jim Mora was fired after the season.
Tony Dungy would become Manning’s second head coach in the NFL. The Colts started off the 2002 season 4–1, before a 3 game losing streak sent them to 4–4. The Colts responded by winning all but two of their remaining games, including a 35–13 upset of the Eagles in which Manning had a perfect passer rating for the second time in his career, giving them a 10–6 record and a spot in the playoffs. However, the Colts were pummeled by the Jets in the Wild Card game, 41–0, with Manning passing for only 137 yards. He finished the year with 4,200 passing yards and 27 passing touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl team. In the Pro Bowl, Manning completed five of eleven passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.
2003 season: First MVP
The 2003 Colts began the season 5–0, including a 55–21 blowout of the Saints in which Manning played his third perfect passer rating game and threw a career-high six TD passes, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. On Monday Night Football against the defending champion Buccaneers, Manning and the Colts trailed 35-14 in the final five minutes. After one short TD drive, the Colts recovered the onside kick. Manning threw a 28 yard TD pass to Marvin Harrison on 4th & 6 to make it 35-28. With 1:41 remaining, Manning got the ball back and drove the offense 85 yards for the game-tying TD. He set up the 29 yard winning field goal in overtime for a stunning 38-35 win. It was the first and only time in NFL history a team won a game after trailing by 21 points in the final 4 minutes of regulation. Manning passed for 386 yards in the game.
After an overtime loss to Carolina, the Colts won all but three of their remaining games, finishing 12–4. On November 30 the Colts hosted the 9-2 Patriots in what would be the beginning of the NFL’s top rivalry of the 2000s. The Colts trailed 31-10 late in the third quarter before Manning threw three TD passes in a span of six minutes to tie the game. Trailing 38-34 in the final minutes, the Colts had three plays at the one yard line to try and score the winning TD. Edgerrin James was stuffed on 4th down by Willie McGinest and the Patriots won. In a Week 14 win against Atlanta, Manning threw for five touchdowns and was named player of the week a second time. He also earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors for the month of October.
In the Wild Card playoff round Manning and the Colts defeated the Denver Broncos 41–10, his first playoff win. He passed for 377 yards and 5 touchdowns in the game, earning him a perfect passer rating, his second of the season and the fourth of his career. After the game, Manning was awarded Player of the Week honors for the third time that season. In the divisional playoffs, Manning led the Colts to a 38–31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Neither team punted in the game. In the AFC title game Manning was shut down by the New England Patriots top-ranked defense and posted the third lowest passer rating of his career at 35.5. The Patriots defense intercepted Manning four times and sacked him another four, as the Colts lost the game 24–14.
During the season, Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September and was named the AP NFL co-MVP along with Titans quarterback Steve McNair. Manning also received the ESPY Award for Best NFL Player. Manning led the league with 4,267 passing yards and threw 29 touchdowns; he was named First-team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl. He passed for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Pro Bowl, a 55–52 loss.
2004 season: Second MVP
The 2004 Colts opened the season with a 27–24 loss to the Patriots, after Mike Vanderjagt missed a game tying field goal in the closing seconds of the game. The Colts won their next four games including a 45–31 win over Green Bay in which Manning threw 5 touchdowns, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, but then lost their next two games, to Jacksonville and Kansas City, despite Manning throwing for 840 yards combined in the two games. The Colts responded well, winning their next 8 games before losing their final regular season game to Denver, a game in which Manning played only the first series. During the month of November, Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week twice; once for his 5 touchdown performance in a 49–14 blowout of Houston and once for his performance in a 41–9 win at Detroit on Thanksgiving in which he threw 6 touchdowns in less than three quarters. Due to his performances in November, Manning earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for a fourth time in the week 16 game against San Diego where he led the Colts to a 34–31 victory after trailing by fifteen in the fourth quarter. With the Colts facing a 4th & 4 at their own 26, Manning waved the punt team off the field and completed a 19 yard pass to Reggie Wayne for the first down. He finished the drive with a 21 yard TD pass to Brandon Stokley, his 49th TD pass of the season, breaking Dan Marino’s record of 48. After the two point conversion to tie, Manning got the ball first in overtime and set up the winning field goal. The Colts clinched the AFC’s third seed with the win.
During the season, Manning threw for 4,557 yards, had a record 121.1 passer rating and record 49 touchdown passes (since broken)., He was selected as the 2004 NFL MVP drawing 49 of 50 votes, was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year and was named the Best NFL Player at the ESPY Awards for the second consecutive year; Manning also received the ESPY Award for Best Record-Breaking Performance for his 49 touchdown passes. The Colts finished the season with a 12–4 record and their second straight AFC South title. Three Colts receivers had 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns that season, also a record.
In the Wild Card game against Denver, Manning passed for 458 yards and 4 touchdowns. However, the Colts’ 2004 season ended in Foxborough for a second straight year with a 20–3 loss against New England, when Manning recorded a season-low passer rating of 69.3. It was Manning’s seventh consecutive loss to the Patriots in Foxborough and the Colts’ three points were their lowest single game point total since their opening game of the 2003 season. Manning was named a Pro Bowl starter; in the Pro Bowl, he threw 3 touchdowns in a 38–27 victory and was named the game’s MVP. Manning was also a unanimous First-team All-Pro selection.
In 2005, the Colts had a greatly improved defense over that of recent years. Combining this with their offense, they won their first 13 games, including a 40–21 rout of the two-time defending Super Bowl Champions, New England. This was Manning’s first road win against the Patriots in 8 attempts, and his 3 touchdowns passes earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. By week 15, the Colts had a perfect 13–0 record, and had secured the AFC South and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Nevertheless, Tony Dungy made the decision to play all of his regular starters against the Chargers. However, the Colts played a sub-par game against the Chargers and fell short of the win; the score was 26–17. Manning finished the season with 3,747 passing yards, the first time he had thrown for under 4,000 yards since his rookie season of 1998, largely due to the fact that Manning sat out much of the final two games with the top AFC seed clinched. His quarterback rating of 104.1 was the highest in the league for the season.
In the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers visited the RCA Dome for the second AFC divisional playoff game of the 2005 season. In the 4th quarter with only a few minutes left in the game, Manning threw what looked to be the game-ending interception to Troy Polamalu, but the interception was overturned (a call the NFL later admitted was incorrect). The Colts went on to score, and were able to get the ball back down three points near the end of the game. On 4th down, Manning was sacked near his own goal line, and the game seemed to be over as the Steelers were one yard from a touchdown. On the next play, the ball was fumbled by Jerome Bettis and picked up by Colts defender Nick Harper who appeared to have a clear path down the sideline for what might have been the game-winning score. However, Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger managed to dive in front of Harper and tackle him by the leg, saving a touchdown. Then the Colts drove down the field to the Steelers 27 yard line, before Mike Vanderjagt missed a field goal as time ran out.
Manning came in second in voting for the MVP award to Shaun Alexander ending his streak at two years. He was named the 2005 winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and nominated for the FedEx Air Player of the Year Award, along with Tom Brady and Carson Palmer. Manning was also named First-team All-Pro for the third consecutive year and named to the Pro Bowl squad; in the Pro Bowl, he threw one touchdown pass and three interceptions.
2006 season: Super Bowl championship
Manning opened the 2006 season against his brother Eli’s New York Giants on Sunday Night Football (the first “Manning Bowl”). It was the first NFL game with starting quarterbacks that were brothers, and Peyton’s team won 26-21. Manning passed for 400 yards against the Texans in a 43-24 victory, which earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors (he also won the award for his 345 yards and 4 TD passes against the Redskins in week 7). A second trip to New York, this time to play the Jets, produced another Colts win. After taking the lead twice in the fourth quarter, Manning had to lead a third scoring drive, this time finishing with a 1-yard QB sneak rushing TD in the last minute for a 31-28 win.
At Denver, Manning again led three scoring drives in the fourth quarter in a 34-31 shootout win. He completed 32 of 39 passes for 345 yards and 3 TDs. Following a second straight season with a win at New England, then a home win against Buffalo, the Colts were the NFL’s last unbeaten team at 9-0. Their first loss would come in Dallas. Plagued by a run defense that would allow over 100 yards in every game, the Colts were 11-4 heading into their final game. Against Miami, Manning threw for 282 yards, 2 TDs and rushed for another TD. The Colts won 27-22, were AFC South division champions, and clinched the third seed in the AFC playoffs. Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. He ended the regular season with 4,397 passing yards and a league-leading 31 touchdown passes. His passer rating (101.0) was the highest in the league for the third year in a row. Manning helped the offense set a NFL record for third down conversion rate in a season (56.1%).
Despite three interceptions, Manning completed 30 out of 38 passes as the Colts beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card playoff game by a score of 23–8. The following week they were limited to five field goals and no touchdowns, but defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 15–6. In the AFC Championship game against the rival Patriots, the Colts trailed 14–3 when Manning threw an interception that was returned for a TD by Asante Samuel to give New England a 21-3 lead. Manning led the Colts to 32 points in the second half for a 38-34 victory, the final score coming late in the fourth quarter as Manning led the Colts on an 80-yard TD drive to take the lead for the first time in the game. He finished the game with 349 yards passing and two touchdowns (1 rushing). The comeback was the largest deficit ever overcome in a conference championship.
Manning led the Colts to a 29–17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was voted Super Bowl MVP. Manning, who had been criticized for failing to win big games, exorcised his big-game demons with the win. “In years’ past when our team’s come up short, it’s been disappointing,” he told reporters. “Somehow we found a way to have learned from some of those losses and we’ve been a better team because of it.” For his role in the Colts’ championship run, Manning was awarded the ESPY for Best Championship Performance. Manning was again named to the Pro Bowl and was also named Second-team All-Pro; in the Pro Bowl he played only two series, passing for 67 yards. Following the Super Bowl win, Manning agreed to restructure his contract to save the Colts $8.2 million in salary cap space.
Manning’s Colts opened the NFL season with 7 wins, pitting them against an undefeated Patriots squad in a match-up that was being called “Super Bowl 41.5″. Manning and Addai helped the Colts to a 13–7 half-time lead, and an early fourth quarter touchdown upped the lead to 20–10. However, Brady led the Patriots to two late touchdowns, to hand Manning his first loss of the season, 24–20. Manning finished the game with 225 yards passing, including a passing touchdown. He also had a rushing touchdown.
Manning did not bounce back from the loss well. Against the San Diego Chargers he threw for a career-worst and franchise-record 6 interceptions. Despite this, he was able to rally the Colts from a 23–0 deficit to 23–21, and gave Adam Vinatieri an opportunity to take the lead with a 29-yard field goal. Vinatieri’s miss sunk the Colts to 7–2. Manning did not play particularly well against the Kansas City Chiefs either, throwing no touchdowns. However, he managed to lead the Colts on a late drive for a game-winning field goal, rushing for two yards on 4th and 1 in the process. Manning finished the game with 163 passing yards, allowing him to overtake 40,000 in his career. The victory was Manning’s 100th. The Colts won their next 5 games, securing yet another AFC South title, as well as the AFC’s number two seed in the play-offs. In the final game of the regular season, Manning played only two series before being replaced with back-up Jim Sorgi; the Colts lost the game to the Titans, 16–10. Manning finished the season with 4,040 passing yards, 31 touchdown passes, and a quarterback rating of 98.0. In the divisional round of the playoffs, Manning and the Colts lost to the Chargers, 28–24. Manning helped the Colts to 4 different leads but could not lead a final touchdown drive for the win. Manning finished the game with 402 yards passing and 3 passing touchdowns. Peyton was widely viewed during Super Bowl XLII as he cheered on brother Eli and the New York Giants in their upset of the New England Patriots. Manning was named a Pro Bowl starter and passed for 147 yards and a touchdown in three series.
2008 season: Third MVP
On July 14, 2008, Manning had surgery to remove an infected bursa sac in his left knee. Manning, who had worn a knee brace due to problems since he was in college, sat out all four preseason games and missed most of training camp.
In the first regular season game at new Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts lost 29–13 to the Chicago Bears. The following week they fell behind 15–0 to the Minnesota Vikings in the 2nd half before rallying to win the game on Adam Vinatieri’s 47 yard field goal. Manning passed for 311 yards as the Colts avoided their first 0–2 start since Manning’s rookie season. Week 3 matched the Colts with division rival Jacksonville. Manning threw 2 interceptions in the game, including one that was returned for a TD by Rashean Mathis. Jacksonville rushed for 236 yards and held the ball for over 41 minutes. Still, trailing by 6 late in the game Manning led the Colts on a 77-yard TD drive to take a 21–20 lead. Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee made a 51 yard field goal to win the game and drop the Colts to 1–2.
For the third week in a row, Manning used the 4th quarter to bring the Colts back from a 27–10 deficit in the last 5 minutes against the Houston Texans to a 31–27 victory. It was the first time an NFL team had won a game in regulation after trailing by 17 points in the last 5 minutes. Manning threw a 7 yard TD pass on 4th & 6 to rookie tight end Tom Santi to make the deficit 27–17. Houston QB Sage Rosenfels, starting for the injured Matt Schaub, then fumbled the ball on a scramble, and it was returned 68 yards for a TD by Gary Brackett. After another Rosenfels fumble, Manning threw the 5-yard game-winning TD pass to Reggie Wayne. The Colts scored 3 TDs in 2:10.
On October 12 Manning led the Colts to a 31–3 blow out win at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens to avoid their first 0–3 start at home since 1997. Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 17th time in his career for his effort of 3 TD passes and 271 yards passing. It was revealed during the game by CBS commentators Jim Nantz and Phil Simms that Manning had a second surgery on his knee before the season started. Colts coach Tony Dungy confirmed this report the day after the Baltimore game.
The Colts suffered their largest margin of defeat, 34–14, in Green Bay the following week. Manning threw 2 interceptions that were returned for touchdowns (2nd time in career; 1st was 9/30/01 vs. New England Patriots). The next week the Colts went into Tennessee on Monday Night Football to face the 6–0 Titans. They led 14–6 in the 3rd quarter, but Tennessee scored 25 unanswered for a 31–21 victory and almost assured the Colts they would not win the AFC South division title for the first time in 6 seasons. At 3–4 the Colts opened up November with their annual showdown against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. The game lacked the luster the rivalry has carried, as there was no Tom Brady, no undefeated season on the line, and neither team was in 1st place of their division. Still, the game was close all the way. Tied at 15 in the 4th quarter, Manning set up Adam Vinatieri for a 52 yard field goal that proved to be the winning points in an 18–15 victory. Manning completed 21 of 29 passes for 254 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Colts were 4–4 halfway through the season and still alive in the AFC playoff race.
In week 10 the Colts traveled to Pittsburgh, who had the league’s #1 defense. They trailed 17–7 in the 2nd quarter before Manning found Dallas Clark for a 2-yard TD to end the half 17–14. Down 20–17 in the 4th quarter, Manning found Dominic Rhodes uncovered for a 17 yard TD pass that would put the Colts up 24–20 for the rest of the game. It was Manning’s 4th game-winning drive (35th of his career) this season. He completed 21 of 40 for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns (the 50th game of his career with 3+ TD passes). It was the first time the Colts have won in Pittsburgh since 1968 (12 straight losses before this win). Against Houston, Manning passed for 320 yards and 2 TDs while leading 5 consecutive scoring drives in a 33–27 victory, the third in a row for the Colts. Manning won AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 2nd time this season (18th time, career)
At San Diego, Manning threw for 255 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT in a 23–20 victory. The interception snapped a career-best streak of 140 pass attempts without an interception. After the Chargers rallied from a 10 point deficit in the 4th to tie the game, Manning led the game-winning drive by completing a 14 yard pass to Marvin Harrison on 4th and inches at midfield. Adam Vinateri kicked the winning 51 yard field goal three plays later. It was Manning’s 5th game-winning drive this season. Manning passed for a season-low 125 yards at Cleveland, but the Colts won their 5th straight game, by a final of 10–6.
In a 35–3 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, Manning threw 3 TD passes while completing 26 of 32 passes for 277 yards. It marked the 11th straight season Manning had thrown at least 20 TD passes, the 2nd longest streak ever. Against the 0–13 Detroit Lions, the Colts found themselves in a 21–21 game in the 4th quarter. Manning led his 6th game-winning drive of the season and the Colts pulled away 31–21. It marked their 7th straight win, 7th straight season with 10+ wins, and they became the only team in NFL history to have a winning streak of at least 7 games in 5 straight seasons. Manning completed 28 of 37 passes for 318 yards and 1 TD.
Needing a win to clinch the 5th seed in the playoffs, Manning had one of his best career performances in Jacksonville on Thursday Night Football. He completed his first 17 passes of the game. In addition to completing his last 6 against Detroit, Manning’s 23 straight completions fell one shy of the NFL record (Donovan McNabb – 24). The Colts trailed 14–0 in the first half and 24–14 to start the 4th quarter. Manning led his 7th 4th quarter win of the season and the Colts put the game away with a defensive TD for a 31–24 victory to clinch a 7th consecutive playoff berth. Manning completed 29 of 34 passes (85.7%) for 364 yards and 3 TDs. It increased his NFL record streak of seasons with 25 TD passes to 11. Manning and the Colts tied a NFL record by winning 3 games in a season in which they trailed by at least 14 points. For his efforts Manning won AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time in 2008. It was the 19th time he has won the award, passing Dan Marino for the most all-time since the award was originated in 1984. He also was selected as the FedEx Air Player of the Week. With the playoff seed secured, Manning only played the opening drive in a shutout against the division-leading Titans in Week 17. He completed all 7 of his passes for 95 yards and a TD, extending his NFL record to nine seasons with 4000 yards passing, and also extended the record to a sixth straight season he led the Colts to at least 12 wins. At the end of the 2008 season, Manning was named NFL MVP for the 3rd time, tying Brett Favre for the most MVP awards in NFL history.
The day following the MVP award, the Colts played their 2007 nemesis, the Chargers, in their wild-card playoff game. Down 14–10 at the half, Manning put the Colts ahead 17–14 in the third quarter as he completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne. But the Chargers tied the game in the fourth quarter as kicker Nate Kaeding nailed a 22-yard field goal. When San Diego won the coin toss, they scored on the first possession, ending the Colts season.
2009 season: Fourth MVP and Second Super Bowl appearance
Week 1 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (W 14–12): Under new head coach Jim Caldwell, Manning started the 2009 season with a victory by throwing for 301 yards, marking his 48th career 300 yard passing game.
Week 2 at Miami Dolphins (W 27–23): On Monday Night Football, Manning led his 29th fourth quarter comeback (38th game-winning drive) by throwing for 303 yards and 2 TD passes, despite only having the ball for 14:53, the lowest time of possession for a winning team in the NFL since they began tracking the statistic in 1977. The win was Manning’s 119th in the regular season, moving him past Johnny Unitas for 5th all time.
Week 3 at Arizona Cardinals (W 31–10): Manning passed for 379 yards and had 4 TD passes for the 18th time in his career (moving him ahead of Johnny Unitas into third on the NFL career list) in his first ever NFL game played in Arizona. It was his 50th regular season game with 300 yards passing (third consecutive). For his efforts in September, Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for the fourth time in his career.
Week 5 at Tennessee Titans (W 31–9): Manning passed for 309 yards and 3 TDs. In the process he moved into sole possession of 3rd place in passing touchdowns (345) and 5th all-time in passing yards (47,273), surpassing Fran Tarkenton in both categories.
Week 7 at St. Louis Rams (W 42–6): Though only throwing for 235 yards (ending his streak of five consecutive 300-yard passing games; record is 6), Manning threw three TD passes and led the Colts to their 15th straight regular season win and set a franchise-record with an eighth straight road win.
Week 8 vs. San Francisco 49ers (W 18–14): Held without a TD pass for the first time in 10 games, Manning threw for 347 yards and running back Joseph Addai threw the game-winning TD pass on a trick play to start the 4th quarter for Indy’s 16th consecutive regular season win.
Week 9 vs. Houston Texans (W 20–17): Manning reached several milestones in leading the Colts to becoming the fourth team in NFL history with 17 straight regular-season wins. He moved past Fran Tarkenton for 4th all-time in wins with 125. He became the first quarterback to pass for over 40,000 yards in a decade. He threw a career-high 25 passes in the 1st quarter (most in any opening quarter since 1991), and had a career-high 40 pass attempts in the first half. He set a franchise record for most 300 yard passing games in a season with his seventh 300-yard effort of the season (also a NFL record through the first 8 games of a season ). He led his third 4th quarter comeback of the season.
Week 10 vs. New England Patriots (W 35–34): Trailing 31–14 early in the 4th quarter, Manning led the Colts on three touchdown drives for his 32nd 4th quarter comeback victory. He threw a 1-yard winning TD pass to Reggie Wayne with 13 seconds remaining. For the game, Manning had 4 TD passes and 327 yards passing, his eighth 300 yard passing game of the season. The 18 straight regular season wins are tied for the second longest streak in NFL history. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 20th time.
Week 11 at Baltimore Ravens (W 17–15): Manning fell one yard shy of reaching 300 yards passing in the 19th consecutive regular season win for the Colts. For the first time in NFL history, a team won four straight games after trailing in the 4th quarter as Manning led the game-winning field goal drive. He surpassed 3000 yards passing for the 12th straight season.
Week 12 at Houston Texans (W 35–27): After trailing 17–0 in the second quarter, the Colts rallied back behind three Manning TD passes for their 20th straight regular season win to clinch the AFC South division title. It was the fifth straight game Manning led a game-winning drive in the 4th quarter, another NFL record. It was his 34th comeback win in the 4th quarter, tying him with John Elway and Johnny Unitas for the second most in NFL history.
Week 13 vs. Tennessee Titans (W 27–17): Manning used a 24–10 halftime lead and a time-consuming field goal drive in the 4th quarter to secure the Colts’ record-tying 21st straight regular season win. They also extended their record to 7 straight seasons with at least 12 wins and tied the 1990 49ers for the most wins in a decade (113).
Week 14 vs. Denver Broncos (W 28–16): Manning threw 3 TD passes for a 21–0 lead, then after a season-high 3 interceptions, threw a game-clinching TD pass to Dallas Clark as the Colts clinched the #1 seed in the AFC, and set NFL records for most consecutive regular seasons wins (22) and most wins in a decade (114). It was also the 13th straight win at home, a franchise record.
Week 15 at Jacksonville Jaguars (W 35–31): For a record 7th time in a season (35th career), Manning led the Colts to victory after trailing in the 4th quarter on Thursday Night Football. In a performance similar to his MVP-clinching game in 2008 at Jacksonville, Manning completed 23 of 30 passes for 308 yards and 4 TDs. He was 12/12 in the first half with 2 TD passes on the only two offensive possessions the Colts had in the half. On 3rd & 5 with just over five minutes remaining in the game, Manning threw the 65 yard game winning TD pass to Reggie Wayne as the Colts became the third team to ever start a season 14–0 (1972 Dolphins, 2007 Patriots), and in the process, tied or broke several passing marks: Manning went over 4,000 yards passing for a record 10th time in his career. He had his ninth 300-yard passing game of the season, one shy of the NFL record of ten 300-yard passing games in a season. It was also the 21st time Manning threw 4 TDs in a game, tying Marino for 2nd all-time. Finally, his 23rd consecutive regular season win broke Jim McMahon‘s NFL record of 22 straight wins with the Chicago Bears from 1984-87.
Week 16 vs. New York Jets (L 29-15): Manning completed 14/21 passes for 192 yards to became the fourth QB in NFL history to pass for 50,000 yards, and is the fastest and youngest to reach that mark. However, the Colts suffered their first loss of the season, putting an end to the record 23 game streak in the regular season. After building a 9-0 lead, the Colts trailed 10-9 when the Jets returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter for a TD. Manning led the Colts on an 81 yard TD drive (two-point conversion failed) to take a 15-10 lead. With 5:36 remaining in the third quarter, rookie back up Curtis Painter replaced Manning at QB as Colts coach Jim Caldwell began to rest his starters for the remainder of the game. As the crowd booed the decision, Painter fumbled on his second possession and it was returned for the go ahead score. The Jets would outscore the Colts 19-0 after Manning was taken out. When asked about the decision, Manning said, “I was prepared that that potentially could be the case. I wasn’t surprised when that news was told to me.”
Week 17 at Buffalo Bills (L 30-7): Manning only played the first three series before sitting out the rest of the game, which was played in several inches of snow. He completed 14 of 18 passes for 95 yards and one interception to finish the season with 4,500 yards passing and a 99.9 passer rating. The Colts were outscored 49-7 since the decision to bench Manning and other starters in week 16 against the Jets.
Manning was awarded his fourth MVP, breaking the NFL record for most MVPs by a single player. He was also selected to the AP All-Pro team for the fifth time in his career.
AFC Divisional vs. Baltimore Ravens (W 20-3): Manning threw 2 TD passes late in the first half to build a 17-3 halftime lead which the defense would hold in the second half. He completed 30 passes for 246 yards in leading his eight straight victory over the Ravens.
AFC Championship vs. New York Jets (W 30-17) Against the top-ranked defense of the Jets, Manning overcame a 17-6 deficit late in the second quarter to lead the Colts to 24 unanswered points in a 30-17 win. He completed 26 of 39 passes for 377 yards, 3 touchdowns and no turnovers in clinching his second Super Bowl appearance. The 11 point comeback was the third largest in a championship game (the largest being the 18 point rally Manning led against New England in the 2006 AFC Championship). Manning set a playoff record with his seventh 300 yard passing game in the postseason.
Super Bowl XLIV vs. New Orleans Saints (L 31-17) Against his hometown team, Manning led the Colts to a 10-0 lead after their two first quarter drives, throwing a TD pass to Pierre Garcon to cap off a 96 yard drive (tied for longest in Super Bowl history). After running just six plays in the second quarter, the Colts led 10-6 at halftime. The Saints recovered an onside kick to start the second half and took their first lead, 13-10. Manning led a go ahead TD drive to regain the lead. Leading 17-16 at the start of the 4th quarter, Matt Stover missed a 51 yard field goal for the Colts. The Saints scored the go ahead TD and two-point conversion to take a 24-17 lead with 5:42 left. Manning took over and moved the Colts to the Saints’ 31 yard line. Facing a 3rd & 5 with 3:24 left, his pass intended for Reggie Wayne was intercepted by Tracy Porter, who returned it 74 yards for a critical TD and 31-17 Saints lead. Manning drove the Colts down to the 5 yard line in the last minute, but his 4th & goal pass was dropped by Reggie Wayne at the goal line. The Saints won their first Super Bowl, dropping Manning to 9-9 in the postseason (1-1 Super Bowl record). Manning passed for 333 yards on 31/45, with 1 TD and 1 interception.
Manning was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He married his wife Ashley in Memphis on St. Patrick’s Day in 2001. Ashley was introduced to him by her parents’ next-door neighbor the summer before Manning’s freshman year in college.
During the summer, Archie, Peyton, Eli, and Cooper run the Manning Passing Academy, a five day camp which aims to improve the offensive skills of quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs. In addition to the Mannings, the camp has included many prominent players from football as coaches, such as Colts wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.
Peyton, along with Archie, authored a book entitled Manning: A Father, His Sons, and a Football Legacy, which was released in 2000. The book covers Archie’s and Cooper’s lives and careers, and Peyton’s life and career up to the time that the book was released, and examines football from both Archie’s and Peyton’s points-of-view.
In 2009, Peyton, Eli, and Archie co-authored a children’s book entitled Family Huddle, which describes in simple text and pictures how the three Manning brothers played football as young boys (Scholastic Press; illustrations by Jim Madsen).
Manning in popular culture
|“||That guy’s pretty good. If you like… six-five, 230-pound quarterbacks with a… laser rocket arm…||”|
|—Peyton Manning, in disguise, referring to himself in an advertisement for Sprint|
Manning has become the NFL’s most marketable player, appearing in several television and printed advertisements for some of the NFL’s biggest sponsors. Manning is recognized as a pitchman for the following companies: Sprint, Sony, MasterCard, Gatorade, DirecTV, H.H. Gregg, and the American Red Cross. Manning also was the spokesman for Xbox‘s NFL Fever games, and was featured on the covers of the games.
Manning made an appearance on Saturday Night Live’s sports extra in 2008 in which he was in a children’s football scene, and a high school basketball scene. An ESPN This is SportsCenter ad from 2006 features the entire Manning family; parents Archie and Olivia, with their sons Peyton, Eli and Cooper, touring the SportCenter studios with Peyton and Eli engaging in horseplay behind everybody.
He was also featured in one of a series of DirecTV commercials where celebrities are seen in their element, then suddenly begin addressing the viewer. In his commercial they parodied his pre-snap audible routine and known delay in calling for the ball by having him pitch NFL Sunday Ticket instead of changing the play during a blowout game against the Tennessee Titans. Manning also appears in advertisements for St. Mary’s Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Manning also hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guest Carrie Underwood on March 24, 2007, his 31st birthday. The episode earned the show’s highest household rating in more than 10 months in the metered markets. During his opening, he alluded to his most-marketable status by joking that he had accomplished two of his life goals: his team, the Colts, winning a Super Bowl and his appearance on over half of America’s television commercials. He has also won the Favorite Male Athlete award for the Kids Choice Awards. On May 27, 2007 Manning waved the green flag to begin the 91st Indianapolis 500.
In 2009, Manning guest-voiced (with his brothers, Eli and Cooper) on an episode of The Simpsons called “O Brother, Where Bart Thou?” in which Bart dreams of having a baby brother and sees such famous brothers as The Marx Brothers, The Blues Brothers, The Wright Brothers, The Mario Brothers, and The Manning Brothers.
Shortly after beginning his NFL career, Manning started his own charity, the Peyback Foundation. The Peyback Foundation’s mission is to help disadvantaged kids, and focuses its efforts in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Indiana.
Manning, along with his brother Eli, volunteered their assistance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Among the tasks performed, the Mannings assisted in the delivery of 30,000 pounds of water, Gatorade, baby formula, diapers, and pillows to the people of New Orleans.
On September, 2007, St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis renamed its children’s hospital to “Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent.” Manning and his wife made a donation of an undisclosed amount to St. Vincent’s and have had a relationship with the hospital since his arrival in Indianapolis.
Career awards and records
Major high school awards
- 1992, 1993 Louisiana Class 2A MVP
- 1993 Gatorade Circle of Champions Award
- 1993 Atlanta TD Club’s Bobby Dodd Award
- 1993 New Orleans Quarterback Club Player of the Year
- 1993 Columbus, Ohio Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year
- 1993 Gatorade High School Player of the Year (National)
- NFL MVP (2003 (shared with Steve McNair), 2004, 2008, 2009)
- Best NFL Player ESPY Award(2004, 2005)
- 9× Pro Bowl Selection (1999–2000, 2002–2009)
- 5× First-team All-Pro (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009)
- 3× Second-team All-Pro (1999, 2000, 2006)
- 2× Bert Bell Award (2003, 2004)
- 6× AFC Offensive Player of the Year Awards (1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009)
- 1998 NFL All-Rookie First Team
- 2004 AFC Offensive Player of the Year
- 2004 Fedex Express Player of the Year
- 2005 Best Record-Breaking Performance ESPY Award
- 2005 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award
- 2005 Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award
- 2005 Pro Bowl MVP
- 2007 Super Bowl MVP
- 2007 Best Championship Performance ESPY Award
Additionally, Manning has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month four times (9/2003, 11/2004, 10/2006, 9/2009) and Offensive Player of the Week on 20 occasions (19 AFC, 1 NFL/playoff).
Tennessee Volunteers records
- Lowest interception percentage (season): 1.05% (1995)
- Highest completion percentage (career): 62.49%
- Lowest interception percentage (career): 2.39%
- Most 300+ passing yard games (career): 18
Manning holds a number of individual career records:
- Highest passer rating, season: 121.1 (2004)
- Most seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards: 10 (1999–2004, 2006–2009)
- Most consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards: 6 (1999–2004)
- Most consecutive seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes: 12 (1998–2009; current, tied with Brett Favre) 
- Most consecutive seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes: 12 (1998–2009; current)
- Most games with a perfect passer rating, career: 4 (includes 1 playoff game)
- Most consecutive games started to open a career by a quarterback (current): 192
- Most consecutive games with at least 2 touchdown passes: 13 (games 1–13, 2004)
- Most consecutive games with at least 4 touchdown passes: 5 (games 7–11, 2004)
- Most games with at least 4 touchdown passes, season: 6 (2004; tied with 1984 Marino)
- Most games with at least 5 touchdown passes, career: 7 (includes 1 playoff game)
- One of only seven QBs with at least 6 touchdown passes in two games (tied with Sammy Baugh, Y.A. Tittle, Daryle Lamonica, Tom Brady, Charley Johnson and George Blanda)
- Most career touchdown passes in Thursday games: 23
- Most touchdown passes on a Thursday game: 6 (tied with Bob Griese)
- Largest career TD-INT differential: 185
- Highest career passing TDs/game average (min. 150 TD passes): 1.91 TDs/game
- Highest career passing yards/game average: 261.1
- Highest career completions/game average (min. 100 games played): 22.0
- Most consecutive games with a passer rating over 100: 9 (games 5–13 of 2004 season; record tied by Carson Palmer, 2004–05 and Tom Brady, 2006–07)
- Highest completion percentage by a QB in one month in NFL history (min. 75 attempts): 81.8% (December 2008) 
- Most career games with a completion percentage of 70% or higher (min. 10 attempts): 59
- Most consecutive regular season wins as a starter: 23 (2008–2009)
- Most seasons with 10+ wins as a starter (regular season only): 10 (1999–2000, 2002–2009)
- Most seasons with 12+ wins as a starter (regular season only): 8 (1999, 2003–2009)
- Only QB with at least 12 wins as a starter in 7 consecutive seasons (2003–2009)
- Only QB with eight straight seasons of 10+ wins as a starter (2002–2009)
- Only QB to lead five consecutive 4th quarter comeback wins (games 7–11, 2009)
- Most fourth quarter comeback wins in one season: 7 (2009)
- First QB to defeat the other 31 teams in the regular season (Tom Brady did this later the same day, and Brett Favre did it the following week)
- Most wins as a starting QB in a decade, regular season only: 115 (2000s)
- Most wins as a starting QB in a decade, regular & postseason: 124 (2000s)
- Most AP NFL MVP Awards: 4 (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009)
- Most Touchdown Passes in a decade: 314 (2000s)
- Most 300+ yard passing games: 8 
- Most 400+ yard passing games: 2 (tied with Dan Marino)
- Most yards passing, 1st half of game: 360 vs. Denver Broncos, 1/9/05
- Led the biggest comeback in conference championship game history (18 pts), 1/21/07 vs. New England
- One of only four QBs to post a perfect 158.3 rating in a game (Don Meredith, Terry Bradshaw, Dave Krieg)
- Most games with 20+ completions: 14
- Most games with 30+ completions: 4
- Most games with 30+ attempts: 17
- Most games with 40+ attempts: 8
- Most completions and attempts in a single postseason: 97/153 (2006)
- One of only 2 quarterbacks to complete 80% of his passes in two playoff games (tied with Kurt Warner))
- Most consecutive postseasons with at least one start: 8 (2002-present; tied with Terry Bradshaw, 1972-79 and Joe Montana, 1983-90)
- Most passing attempts: 575
- Most completions: 326
- Most passing yards: 3,739
- Most touchdown passes: 26
- Most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (games 4–16): 13
- Most games with at least one touchdown pass: 15 
- Most games with 300+ yards passing: 4 
With Marvin Harrison
Manning and former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison hold a number of QB-WR tandem records:
- Most completions/receptions (career): 953
- Most passing/receiving yards (career): 12,756
- Most passing/receiving touchdowns (career): 112
- Most completions/receptions in a season, QB-to-WR duo: 143 (2002)
- Most passing/receiving yards in a season, QB-to-WR duo: 1,722 (2002)
Pro Bowl records
- Most passing attempts (career): 150
- Most passing attempts (game): 41 (2004)
- Most completions (career): 92
- Most completions (game): 22 (2004)
- Most passing yards (career): 1,278
- Most passing yards (game): 342 (2004)
- Most passing touchdowns (career): 13
Colts franchise records
- Most passing attempts (career): 6,531
- Most passing attempts (season): 591 (2002)
- Most passing attempts (rookie season): 575 (1998)
- Most 40+ passing attempt games (career): 46
- Most completions (career): 4,232
- Most completions (season): 393 (2009)
- Most completions (rookie season): 326 (1998)
- Most completions (game): 37 (11/03/02 vs. Tennessee; tied with Jeff George)
- Most completions (rookie game): 30 (11/01/98 vs. New England)
- Most consecutive completions: 23 (12/14/08-12/18/08 vs. Detroit/Jacksonville)
- Most games with 20+ completions (career): 125
- Most consecutive games with 20+ completions: 12 (games 3–14, 2003)
- Most games with 30+ completions (career): 16
- Highest completion percentage (career): 64.8%
- Highest completion percentage (season): 68.8% (2009)
- Highest completion percentage (rookie season): 56.7%
- Highest completion percentage (game): 87.5% (14/16 for 95 yards, 12/30/07 vs. Tennessee)
- Most passing yards (career): 50,033
- Most passing yards (season): 4,557 (2004)
- Most passing yards (rookie season): 3,739
- Most passing yards (game): 472 (10/31/04 vs. Kansas City)
- Most 300+ passing yard games (career): 55
- Most 300+ passing yard games (season): 9 (2009)
- Most 300+ passing yard games (rookie season): 4
- Most consecutive passing 300+ yard games: 5 (games 1–5 in 2009)
- Most seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards (1999–2004, 2006–2009): 10
- Most consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards (1999–2004): 6
- Most touchdown passes (career): 366
- Most touchdown passes (season): 49 (2004)
- Most touchdown passes (rookie season): 26