Posted by Chase Stuart on November 14, 2007
Here's my entry. I hope you'll vote for that one or submit your own.
Despite throwing five interceptions in the first 58 minutes of the game, Peyton Manning had his Colts ready to steal a win against the host Chargers. As Adam Vinatieri lined up for a 29-yard field goal to give Indianapolis the lead, no one could have guessed that the greatest clutch kicker in NFL history would push the ball wide right. A careful viewer, perhaps one with HD, might also have noticed that the field goal attempt likely would have been good had Vinatieri kicked from five yards closer–the same five yards the Colts lost when they were whistled for illegal procedure trying to draw the Chargers offsides.
Despite missing a ton of key players, the Colts almost beat one of the best teams in the league on the road, even after allowing two special teams return scores. But Vinatieri’s missed shot left an indelible mark on the remainder of the season.
The Colts all but lost their chance at the #1 seed in the AFC, as New England won’t lose three games off its pace during the remaining seven weeks. Indianapolis also fell into a tie with Pittsburgh for the all important #2 seed and the bye, and is only one game up on division rivals Jacksonville and Tennessee. Pittsburgh and New England breathed huge sighs of relief following the kick, as their road to Arizona just got a lot less bumpy. San Diego is now alone atop the AFC West, and is poised to win it with a softer second half schedule.
Fantasy players can rejoice, too. The Colts — historically known for resting Manning, Harrison and Wayne — should need all of them down the stretch, fighting for potentially the #2 seed and maybe even the AFC South. Vinatieri’s kick just might end up being the defining moment of the fantasy season.