TOFN "5 Games'' podcast: How Ty Law changed the laws of NFL defense


Ty Law not only changed the fortunes of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the 2003 AFC Championship game. He also changed how the game was played thereafter.

In our third installment of this week’s Talk of Fame Network “5 Games’’ podcast, the two-time NFL interception leader recalls arguably his greatest game – the night he picked off three Manning passes on a snowy, frigid January evening in Foxboro, MA in which he laid down the law and also changed it.

After that game the Colts screamed bloody murder that Law and the rest of the secondary had gotten away with murder. This led to an increased emphasis the following season in enforcement of illegal contact beyond five yards, pass interference and defensive holding to the point where, 15 years later, it seems pass defense has been all but outlawed. How does Ty Law feel about that?

“There’s two ways to look at it,’’ Law tells TOF listeners. “One as a compliment but I know it was an extension of the Mel Blount Rule. (The Steelers’ manhandling corner’s play led to a similar re-writing of the rules of pass defense some 30 years earlier). I watch today and the young guys say (to Law), ‘You messed it up for us!’ I think if you do something to change the game it says a lot.’’

It may one day say the two-time Hall of Fame finalist deserves a bust in Canton. Certainly you’d get no argument from Manning or his Hall of Fame receiver, Marvin Harrison. Law tormented Manning throughout his career and never more than in the 2003 AFC title game when he seemed to have a sixth sense all night where Manning was going with the ball.

“I always went in with a nervous anxiousness to play against Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison,’’ Law admits. “I wanted to be on that stage knowing I’d get an opportunity because there was no way in hell Payton wasn’t throwing to Marvin Harrison! Either I’d make a highlight of my own or I’d be on the wrong end of ESPN highlights (that night).’’

To listen to Ty Law recall that game and now each of those three critical interceptions came to be just click on the link below. You can then subscribe to our free daily podcast and get a new edition shipped to you each weekday. You can also find the podcast link on our website,

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Well of course the Colts "screamed bloody murder". Have you people ever analyzed game film from those Colts/Pats match-ups? The Pats strategy was to mug, grab and even tackle Colts WRs well beyond the line of scrimmage. 10-15+ yards down field. This had ALWAYS been a penalty, but for whatever reason it wss not being called.

With pass interference so prevelent in the news right now, i heard one NFL Network analys say that if the correct calls were made in those Colts/Pats games, the Colts would've probably been to 3 more SBs.

To hear history being re-written that the Pats were just playing solid D and the colts's beyond frustrating. DARE those Colts want the rules to actually be enforced!! What a bunch of crybabies,!!