Manning's pre-snap routine has earned him the nickname "The Sheriff", and he is one of the most recognizable and parodied players in the NFL. Teams led by Manning more often than not use the hurry-up offense in place of the standard huddle.
The Colts opened the 1999 season with a 31–14 victory over Buffalo, but gave up a 28–7 lead the following week against the Patriots and lost. After defeating San Diego 27–19 in a game in which Manning threw for over 400 yards, and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for they lost again, to Miami. The Colts responded by winning 11 of their remaining 12 games, finishing 13–3 and the AFC East champions. The 10 game turnaround from the previous year set an NFL record. As the second seed in the AFC, the Colts earned a first round bye, and faced Tennessee in the playoffs. The Colts lost 19–16 to the Super Bowl bound Titans and Manning was limited to one touchdown run. Manning finished the year with 4,135 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns, and was named both Second-team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl, both firsts for him. In the Pro Bowl, he passed for 270 yards with 2 touchdowns.
The Colts started the 2000 season inconsistently. Following an opening week victory against Kansas City, they blew a 21–0 lead against the Raiders. The Colts responded with a Monday Night victory against Jacksonville, a 43–14 win in which Manning threw for 430 yards and 4 touchdowns; Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this performance. The Colts won 4 of their next 5 games, including one against New England in which Manning posted the first perfect passer rating of his career, but then lost 4 of the 5 games following that. The Colts regained their momentum, winning their final 3 games, including a 31–10 win over Minnesota on Week 17. Manning threw for 4 touchdowns in the win and was again named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and the win gave the Colts a 10–6 record as well as a wild card spot in the playoffs. In the