Prior to the 2009 season, Colts let long time pro-bowl receiver Marvin Harrison go to free agency. He was among the ranks of the greatest receivers in the game to date, and is more than likely a future hall of fame inductee. The good news for the colts was they had the young 3rd year receiver out of Ohio State, Anthony Gonzalez, prepped and ready to take his place. In the first game of the year before he had even caught a pass, Gonzalez went down with a season ending injury. The once prolific receiving corps was down to just Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, and 2 unknown guys: Pierre Garçon and Austin Collie.
Garçon, a second year player out of Mount Union College, had amassed a total of 4 (yes 4) receptions the year prior. Collie, on the other hand, was a 25 year old rookie 4th round pick out of Brigham Young University. These 2 young NFL players were called to step up and fill the shoes of a future hall-of-famer and a former first round pick. Colts fans, and management had many reasons to fret.
19 weeks later, Garçon and Collie showed the rest of the league exactly why the Colts are Superbowl bound. Garçon and Collie combined for 18 receptions (Garçon's 11 broke an AFC championship record), 284 yards, and a touchdown apiece. On the drive before halftime, with the Colts trailing by 11, Manning found Collie on 3 consecutive plays for a total of 80 yards and a Touchdown. Garçon, as mentioned above, broke the AFC record for receptions in a championship game.
These 2 relatively unknowns are exactly the reason the Colts are having such an incredible season. The stars mentioned above are always going to get their numbers. Mathis and Freeney are going to get their sacks, Wanye and Clark are going to get their touchdowns, Manning will get his MVP and Sanders is going to fly around the field delivering big hits until he gets hurt. But its guys like Collie and Garçon who step up and get the job done when they are called upon is the difference between 10-6 and getting eliminated early in the playoffs and 14-2, only losing when you try, and going to the Superbowl in Miami (to play, not watch like 28 other teams are doing).