Monday, December 29, 2003

PEYTON MANNING LOVERS CAN GET BENT: Your favorite liquored-up Canadian kicker saved the Colts' bacon yet again. Your favorite liquored-up BADASS KICKER:

Vanderjagt informed Dungy and quarterback Peyton Manning that the offense needed to get him to the Houston 25-yard line to set up the game-winner.

"Mike told me, 'Don't make it hard,' " Manning said. "I said, 'Inside the 25?' He said, 'Yeah, that would work.' "

Manning drove the Colts from their own 10-yard line to the Texans 24 with nine seconds remaining. On third down, Manning slid off left guard for a 1-yard loss to position Vanderjagt in the middle of the field.

On the sideline, Vanderjagt was anything but nervous.

"I was joking that it was the 41st kick in a row, to win a game, to win the division," he said. "I was asking if anybody on the sidelines wanted to kick it. Nobody offered, so I figured I'd do it myself."

I picture him on the sideline, idly smoking a cigarette, speaking in monosyllabic French, waiting for his time to go in.

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