Peyton Manning Was Benched To "Save Him For the Super Bowl"

Published on June 15th, 2024 6:33 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Missed chance at perfection - Peyton Manning and the Colts. The 2009 Indianapolis Colts had a chance at a perfect season.

The Colts, led by Peyton Manning, were 14-0 heading into the last two weeks of the season.

At this point, the Colts had nothing to play for, as they had the #1 seed in the AFC all sewn up.

The Colts had two VERY winnable games to close out the season - a home game against the 7-7 New York Jets, and a road game against the 6-9 Buffalo Bills.

Surely the Colts would try for the perfect season?

Jim Caldwell, the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, had a different idea.

Why not pull Peyton Manning and a bunch of other starters from the game early, to give them some rest ahead of the playoffs?

The Colts were up when Caldwell decided to pull Manning from the game. While watching from the sidelines with his helmet still on, Manning sat helplessly as the Jets rallied for a 29-15 win, costing the Colts their chance at a perfect season.

The Colts would get thrashed 30-7 in the last game of the regular season, as the Colts continued to bench their best players.


Did the benching pay off?


After easily defeating the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets in the opening rounds of the playoffs, the Colts advanced to the Super Bowl, where they would lose 31-17 to the New Orleans Saints.

There is no doubt that Peyton Manning, who is as competitive as they come, would have loved a shot at the perfect season.

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