Will this week's MNF game produce epic air and ground performances like their past matchups?
Monday Night Football history lesson
One notable passing performance in series:Peyton Manning threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Colts to a 31-7 win over the Panthers in Week 8 of the 2007 season. This game was the game before the famous "Undefeated Bowl" game between the Colts and Patriots in 2007. That was the last matchup between teams that were 6-0 or better before Sunday's showdown between Manning's Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers.
One notable rushing performance in series: Tim Biakabutuka rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown as the Panthers dispatched the Colts, 27-19, in the finale of the 1998 season. Neither team had a noteworthy season in 1998. Manning was still a rookie, descrying the virtues of playing quarterback in the NFL. A year later, Manning had the Colts winning a division title and in the playoffs. The Panthers, meanwhile, were still a few years from their next winning season, but that came in 2003 and Carolina reached the Super Bowl.
One famous MNF game
Colts: The Colts had lost six consecutive games to the Patriots entering a "Monday Night Football" game at Gillette Stadium in Week 11 of the 2005 season. The Colts unleashed nearly a half decade of frustration against the Patriots in this game, dropping a 40-burger on the two-time defending Super Bowl champions in their own yard. Manning threw three touchdown passes, two of which went to receiver Marvin Harrison. Both Harrison and Reggie Wayne went for more than 100 yards receiving. Running back Edgerrin James had 104 yards and a touchdown rushing. The Colts improved to 8-0. Indianapolis would get to 13-0 before finally falling to the San Diego Chargers in Week 15. The Colts would bow out of the playoffs prematurely, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional playoff round.
Panthers: It's "Pick on the Patriots Day" here at the "Epic Look Back." This time, we turn the clock back a couple years to the Panthers' NFC South division title season of 2013. In Week 11 of that season, the Panthers hosted the Patriots on "Monday Night Football" and the showdown came down to the final seconds. Cam Newton and Ted Ginn connected for a 25-yard touchdown play with a minute to play to put the Panthers up, 24-20. Given a minute with which to play with, Tom Brady did what he is wont to do. He methodically drove the Patriots down the field for what seemed inevitable ... the winning touchdown for New England. Instead, Brady was intercepted by Panthers safety Robert Lester in the end zone as time expired. There was controversy, as an official threw a flag on the play. However, the officials quickly gathered to discuss the play and the flag was waved off.