Colts' top play winner: Jackson interception
July, 11, 2014
By Mike Wells | ESPN.com
Albert Dickson/Sporting News/Getty ImagesScore: Colts 38, Patriots 34
Date: Jan. 21, 2007. Site: RCA Dome
In a closer vote than it should have been, Indianapolis Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson's interception against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game -- a play that helped seal an 18-point comeback and a spot in the Super Bowl -- was voted as the team's most memorable play.
I was wrong. So were a number of other people, too.
That play received 40 percent of the more than 30,000 votes, barely edging out quarterback Peyton Manning's then-record breaking 49th touchdown pass against the San Diego Chargers in 2004. Manning's touchdown pass received 38 percent of the votes.
The Colts' 28-point comeback against Kansas City in the playoffs last season was a distant third in the voting (22 percent).
Manning's record-setting touchdown passing obviously is huge because it's a milestone during what will end up being a Hall-of-Fame career. But Jackson's interception was substantial for the franchise.
The Colts had been eliminated by the Patriots the previous two times they faced each other in the playoffs. Indianapolis finally got New England, the AFC power squad, off its back in a fashion that didn't seem possible when the Colts walked into the locker room down 15 points at halftime.
So after four consecutive playoff appearances that ended short of a Super Bowl appearance, Manning and the Colts celebrated clinching a Super Bowl berth in front of their fans.
"[The Patriots] were a nemesis of ours for years," Jackson said. "We beat them to get over the hump. And the fashion we were able to come back after being down by 18 points and still believing because of a great simple speech by coach Tony Dungy."
The Colts went on to beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 in the Super Bowl.
An interception that helped the franchise eventually win a Super Bowl or a touchdown pass that set a single-season record?
Seems like an easy choice to make even if the voting didn't appear that way.