All Manning Era Team: Coaching

All Manning Era Team: We take a look at the greatest single seasons by position in the Peyton Manning Era (1998-2011).  Today, we look at the:

 Coaching: 

Tony Dungy is the greatest coach to ever coach the Colts.  He is incredibly respected and loved, not just in Indianapolis but throughout the entire NFL. 

Every season he coached the Colts was a good year.  In 2006, it was his faith and determination that got the Colts past the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. 

 But the best team the Colts had in the Peyton Manning Era was in 2005.  And when Dungy was the head coach, the Colts lost a total of 2 games by a combined 12 points.  Dungy overcame personal tragedy when his 18-year-old son, James, took his life prior to the Colts’ 15th game of the year.  Assistant coach (and Dungy’s eventual replacement) Jim Caldwell filled in, and a Colts’ team consisting mainly of backups lost to the Seattle Seahawks.  The following week, the Colts won an emotional game in Dungy’s return and Dungy was presented with the game ball.

 Despite being the only team in NFL history to win 12 games in a season while never trailing at any point in the contest, the Colts fell to the eventual super bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers 21-18 in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.  The Colts mounted a great comeback resembling the faith of their head coach, but Mike Vanderjagt missed a potential tying kick with 17 seconds remaining in the game. 

Although it was a disappointing end to a spectacular season, the year had to be considered a success.  Dungy’s coaching helped the Colts to a 14-2 record and a complete dominance of opponents.  

Dungy has 7 seasons that could earn a spot on this list (he coached the Colts for 7 years), but the 2005 team was the best that Dungy had  in Indianapolis.

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About Josh Wilson
Follow Josh on twitter @jwilsonWL, on Facebook at the Operation: Freedom page, or you can reach him by email at operation.freedom@yahoo.com.

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