Monday, January 22, 2007
By Jeff Rabjohns
January 22, 2007
Peyton Manning spread the ball around, hitting nine different receivers against the Patriots on Sunday evening.
Two of the biggest catches in the rally that lifted the Colts past the Patriots 38-34 in the AFC Championship were made by tight ends Dallas Clark and Bryan Fletcher.
Clark had a 23-yard catch on the touchdown drive that tied the score at 28. He also had a 52-yard reception to start the drive that led to a field goal to tie the score at 31.
Fletcher's only catch of the game went for 32 yards and gave the Colts a first down on the Patriots' 37 on the game-winning drive. Four plays later, rookie Joseph Addai scored from the 3 to put the Colts up 38-34 with a minute left.
"On my particular catch, I was one-on-one with a linebacker. Me and Peyton communicated that he wanted me to take a shot on the one-on-one, and Peyton made a great throw," Fletcher said.
Clark continued as the Colts' leading receiver in the playoffs. He had six catches for 137 yards Sunday, giving him team highs in catches (17) and receiving yards (281) in the three playoff games.
"This is incredible for us, not just for me and Dallas but for the entire organization," Fletcher said. "This is the first time the Indianapolis Colts are going to the Super Bowl, and for Peyton and coach (Tony) Dungy to get over the hump, I'm extremely happy for them, given all the criticism they've taken, people saying they choke and things of that nature.
"To come back and win it in this fashion, for Peyton to have a last-second drive to get the monkey off his back is just incredible."
Posted by NC Sports on Monday, January 22, 2007