Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning finally slew the dragon that has haunted his entire career, winning what was arguably the biggest game of his life, college or pro, as his Indianpolis Colts defeated their nemesis, the New England Patriots, 38-34 in the AFC Championship Game. Peyton could never beat Tennessee’s arch-rival Florida in college and Belichick and Brady had gotten the best of Manning and the Colts in two playoff games. On Sunday, however, Peyton delivered by driving his team to the winning touchdown with under a minute to play. For the game, Manning was 27 of 47 for 349 yards and one touchdown. He also threw an interception that Asante Samuel returned for a touchdown to put the Pats up 21-3. However, instead of folding like they might have done in previous years, the Colts responded by scoring 32 points in the second half to put themselves in the Superbowl against the Chicago Bears.

The Colts are early 7-point favorites.