INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Mike Shanahan lived through a nightmare at Peyton Manning's place last January in the playoffs.
A return engagement will be staged Sunday when Shanahan and the Denver Broncos visit the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC wild card round.
Manning dissected the Broncos for 377 yards and five touchdowns in the Colts' 41-10 rout of the Broncos. He completed 22-of-26 passes for the third-highest percentage (84.6) in postseason history by a quarterback with more than 20 attempts.
Manning fell one touchdown pass shy of tying the playoff record shared by Daryle Lamonica and Steve Young and was 16-of-18 for 327 yards and four touchdowns in the first half, when the Colts built a 31-3 lead.
Marvin Harrison had seven catches for 133 yards, including touchdowns of 46 and 23 yards, in the first half. Brandon Stokley also was a major factor in the first-half eruption, catching three passes for 131 yards, including TDs of 31 and 87 yards. Manning's fifth touchdown pass was a seven-yard toss to Reggie Wayne with 5:19 left in the third quarter.
The game left scars with Shanahan, who took action in the offseason, acquiring cornerback Champ Bailey from Washington for running back Clinton Portis in a trade of Pro Bowlers and signing veteran safety John Lynch.
"They dominated us in that football game," Shanahan said. "Hopefully, we can play much better defensively. It will be quite a challenge. Peyton is a special quarterback. Offensively, we'll need to control the ball and keep their offense off the field. The key will be for us to get balance in our running game and passing game."
Last week, the Broncos did not have to contend with Manning, who played just one series since the Colts were already locked into the third seed in the AFC playoffs. Denver needed a win to earn the final wild-card spot and took advantage of the virtual absence of Manning and running back Edgerrin James, beating the Colts, 33-14.
Lynch made headlines last week with a crushing hit on Colts tight end Dallas Clark, leading to a fine of $75,000.
Jake Plummer threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score and the tandem of rookie Tatum Bell and Reuben Droughns combined for 167 yards on 31 carries.
Plummer and the backs will need to again put up big numbers if they want to have a chance against Manning, who set NFL single-season records with 49 touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 121.1, well ahead of the 112.8 set by Steve Young of the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.
"I was coaching Steve that year (as an offensive coordinator) and I know what a great season he had," Shanahan said. "Manning got a lot of attention for breaking (Dan) Marino's record for touchdown passes, but probably not enough for the passer rating record."
In one of the greatest seasons by an NFL quarterback, Manning completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 4,557 yards and the Colts scored a league-high 522 points.
Harrison, Stokley and Wayne each had more than 1,000 receiving yards and 10 or more touchdowns. Bailey, Lynch, cornerback Kelly Herndon and safety Kenoy Kennedy will have to contend with the trio along with tight ends Marcus Pollard and Dallas Clark.
And then there's James, who had just one carry for minus-two yards last week at Denver. He finished the season with 1,548 yards.
If the Broncos win, they will next play at Pittsburgh on January 15. If the Colts win, they will next play at New England on January 16.
Matchup to watch: Colts right end Dwight Freeney, who led the NFL with 16 sacks, against left tackle Matt Lepsis.