Any time former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning returns to Indianapolis, it’s a big deal. And a big game. And Sunday afternoon was no different.
But amidst a stalled Colts offense, a newly installed offensive coordinator, a struggling quarterback, and a general lack of cohesion, I had no idea what to expect when the Colts hosted the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Because that’s just how this season has been. Unpredictable. From one game to the next, from one quarter to the next, from one play to the next…
In fact, I was so wrapped up in the issues facing the Colts and Andrew Luck, that I didn’t really have time to get nostalgic about the return of my former quarterback.
Even once I got to the game, I noticed the media gathered on the field, anxiously awaiting Peyton Manning’s entrance. But it was them waiting on him, not me. I was worried about my guys. My team. My quarterback.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 8, 2015
When the game started, it was clear right away that this was not the Colts offense that we had been watching for most of this season. They were spread out, they were loose, they had some swagger, and they were working.
The defense stepped up, as they have so many times this season, and made big plays. Darius Butler had a big interception. Kendall Langford had a big sack on Peyton Manning. And this time, I didn’t even cringe.
The Colts had their mojo back. Andrew Luck had his smile back. And I had my team back.
— Matt Kryger (@MattKryger) November 9, 2015
Peyton Manning’s second homecoming ended much like the first. The Colts sent him and the Broncos home with their first loss of the season.
As we were walking to the car, my husband said, “Well, it’s too bad we couldn’t see Peyton break the NFL record for passing yards here.”
Without even thinking, I replied, “I didn’t even want him to. Let him break it back in Denver. He’s somebody else’s quarterback now.”
And a few steps later, it hit me.
Three and a half seasons removed from one of the biggest breakups in sports history and the football love of my life, years of feeling sick and torn and unsettled about it. And suddenly, without even knowing it, I had finally moved on.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 9, 2015
Peyton Manning is somebody else’s quarterback now.
I’ve said it many times.
But on Sunday night, for the first time – I actually believed it.