Nov. 2, 2008
How they did it: Fresh off a loss to the Tennessee Titans that dropped their record to 3-4, the Colts had to contend with arch-rival New England coming to visit Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts were just 1-2 on the season.
Nov. 9, 2008
How they did it: The Colts trailed at halftime, 17-14, and in the fourth quarter, 20-17, but a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning — his third of the game — to Dominic Rhodes proved to be the game-winner for the Colts.
The win put the Colts over .500 for the season at 5-4, and the Steelers would, of course, lose just once more in claiming the Super Bowl XLIII title.
Nov. 16, 2008
How they did it: The Colts again trailed in the second half of this shootout after Texans' rookie RB Steve Slaton busted a 71-yard touchdown run for a 20-16 Texans' lead.
The Colts answered with a touchdown run from Joseph Addai and a TD pass from Manning to Marvin Harrison. After an Ahman Green run got Houston within three, Adam Vinatieri made his fourth field goal of the game for the final score.
Nov. 23, 2008
How they did it: The Colts had a 17-10 lead entering the fourth quarter, but the Chargers scored 10 straight to tie the game at 20 before Vinatieri came through with a field goal, his third of the game, to provide the winning points.
Gonzalez and Rhodes each caught touchdown passes from Manning, and Robert Mathis had two sacks for the Colts.
Nov. 30, 2008
How they did it: The defense — and Robert Mathis, in particular — were the heroes in this one. Mathis scooped up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for the game's only touchdown.
Mathis also had two sacks, and Dwight Freeney had the sack that forced the key fumble. Vinatieri added a field goal as the Colts posted a five-win month of November.
Dec. 7, 2008
How they did it: The Colts got a rare breather during the winning streak with an easy win over the Bengals, who were 1-11-1 coming into the game. A 17-yard run from Rhodes and a short pass from Manning to Harrison staked the Colts to a 14-3 halftime lead.
Hayden had two picks on the day, and Mathis continued to be a demon on defense with 2.5 sacks. Freeney added another 1.5 sacks, Darrell Reid added another and Dante Hughes also picked up an interception.
Dec. 14, 2008
How they did it: The Lions were on their way to the NFL's first 0-16 season, but they had plenty of fight on this day for the Colts. Rhodes, Chad Simpson and Clark all scored in the first half as the Colts opened up a 21-10 halftime lead, but Detroit was able to tie the game in the fourth quarter at 21-all.
Indianapolis would score 10 straight to close out the game, however, behind the running of Rhodes and the leg of Vinatieri. Manning finished the game with 318 yards and Clark had a huge game with 12 catches for 142 yards.
Dec. 18, 2008
How they did it: Four days after getting a tougher-than-expected test from the Lions, the Colts were back in action on Thursday night against their division rivals in Jacksonville, and the win streak was in serious jeopardy as the Jags jumped out to a 14-0 first-half lead.
Manning-to-Wayne got the Colts on the board, but Jacksonville added a field goal before halftime and led, 17-7, at the break.
Jacksonville kept the 10-point lead through three quarters at 24-14, but the Colts — behind a pass from Manning to Clark, a field goal from Vinatieri and a 35-yard interception return from Keiwan Ratliff — scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to increase their win streak to eight games.
Dec. 28, 2008
How they did it: The Titans were the last team to hang a loss on the Colts, but they didn't have much to play for in this one with a 13-2 record, the AFC South title wrapped up and a first-round playoff bye in hand.
Indianapolis scored early on a 55-yard pass from Manning to Addai. Manning turned the reins over to Jim Sorgi, and the Colts continued to build the lead behind three Vinatieri field goals. Jamey Richard also recovered a fumble for a TD to establish the final score.
Both the Colts and Titans would lose the next time they took the field. Indianapolis lost in the first round of the playoffs, 23-17, to San Diego in overtime. After a first-round bye, the Titans fell to the Baltimore Ravens, 13-10.
Sept. 13, 2009
How they did it: In the 2009 season opener at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts again faced a huge challenge from rival Jacksonville. The Colts held a one-point lead at halfitme, 7-6, and moved it to 14-6 in the third quarter on a pass from Manning to Wayne. The Jaguars had a chance to tie in the fourth quarter after a MAurice Jones-Drew touchdown run, but couldn't convert the two-point conversion, and Indy hung on for the win.
Wayne had a monster game to open the season with 10 catches for 162 yards. Dwight Freeney began a sack streak that is still ongoing.
Sept. 21, 2009
How they did it: This was perhaps the most remarkable win of the entire streak, with the Colts being dominated by the Dolphins "Wildcat" rushing attack and ball-control offense. The Colts famously had the ball less than a quarter and gave up 239 rushing yards, but they never trailed by more than seven. A long pass from Clark and two Vinatieri field goals from 40-plus yards kept the Colts in a halftime tie, 13-13.
The Dolphins inability to put the Colts away cost them in the fourth quarter, as Donald Brown scored on a run to tie the game at 20-all. After a Dan Carpenter field goal, Manning hit Pierre Garçon on a screen pass that he took 48 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Sept. 27, 2009
How they did it: Manning was at his best in this one as the Colts routed the defending NFC champs. He tossed first-half touchdowns to Wayne, Clark and Garçon as the Colts ran out to a 21-3 lead and were never seriously challenged.
The Colts defense made Arizona QB Kurt Warner miserable throughout. Freeney recorded two sacks of Warner and Mathis and Raheem Brock each added another. Marlin Jackson and Antoine Bethea also intercepted Warner in the game.
Oct. 4, 2009
How they did it: For the second week in a row, the Colts came out firing on all cylinders. Brown, Wayne and Austin Collie all scored first-half TDs and Addai added another early in the third as the Colts built a 31-3 lead.
The defense again had a field day against a beat-up Seahawks squad with five sacks. Mathis led the way with 2.5, and Freddy Keiaho and Freeney each had one, with Raheem Brock getting credit for a half-sack.
Oct. 11, 2009
How they did it: The last time these teams met, it was a meaningless game with playoff berths locked up. This time around, it was do-or-die for the Titans, who were in the midst of an 0-4 start. Manning and Co. didn't have any sympathy for their long-time rivals, however.
Wayne scored early, but the Titans battled back with two Rob Bironas field goals to make it 7-6. Addai countered with a running score and Bironas kicked another field goal to make it 14-9.
But the Titans wouldn't score again, and Manning connected with Collie for two more scores and Vinatieri tacked on a short field goal to propel the Colts to a 5-0 record.
Oct. 25, 2009
How they did it: The Colts didn't show any rust coming off a bye week and pounded the hapless Rams from the get-go. Clark and Wayne caught first-half TDs and Addai added a rush touchdown as the Colts opened a 21-3 halftime lead.
Jacob Lacey (interception return), Collie (pass from Manning) and Simpson (31-yard run) all scored in the second half as the Colts continued to pound the Rams. Kelvin Hayden added an interception and the team combined for three sacks as well.
Nov. 1, 2009
How they did it: The Colts, after having not been seriously challenged in more than a month, got a big fight from the 49ers. Frank Gore bisected the Colts defense for a long touchdown run early, but Indy countered with two field goals from Matt Stover.
The 49ers took a 14-6 lead on a pass from Alex Smith to Vernon Davis, but the Colts kept the 49ers off the scoreboard for the rest of the half and the entire second. Meanwhile, two more field goals from Stover pulled the Colts within two points at 14-12.
The Colts ended up getting the winning points from a usual source — Reggie Wayne — but in an unusual way, as Addai, not Manning, tossed the football his way. Wayne, despite being slowed by a groin injury, caught 12 passes for 147 yards in the game.
The Colts continued to rack up sacks, with Freeney, Antonio Johnson, Mathis and Philip Wheeler all taking down Smith. Bob Sanders, in what would prove to be his last action of the season, recorded an interception.
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