Indianapolis (5-0) remained undefeated thanks to the strong play of its defense, which has allowed just 29 points all season. The team converted five turnovers into 14 points.
The Alex Smith era started in disappointing fashion for the 49er's, which have dropped four in a row after opening the season with their only win.
Alex Smith, the first overall pick in this past June's draft was promoted to the 49er's starting lineup after a month of mediocrity from Tim Rattay.
During his quarterbacking career at the University of Utah, Alex Smith once enjoyed a 180-pass streak in which the football never found its way into enemy hands, and in 2004, he was intercepted only four times in 317 pass attempts.
But Smith is not in college anymore, choosing to leave Utah following his junior season for the NFL Draft, in which he was chosen first overall by the San Francisco 49ers.
Sunday afternoon against The Indianapolis Colts, in the 49ers' fifth game, the 21-year-old Smith made his first NFL start, and in one stretch of 11 passes, he was intercepted as many times as in his entire junior season.
Smith never got comfortable behind San Francisco's
terrible offensive line. Though the rookie didn't seem intimidated by
Indianapolis' constant rush and enduring alot of punishment,
Smith completed just one pass to a wide receiver all day, with Brandon Lloyd and Arnaz Battle getting completely shut out.
While Smith's struggles were predictable in his first career start, the Colts' problems were surprising, but not a big deal. Manning went 23-of-31 for 255 yards and one score, throwing two interceptions in an unimpressive performance against a team starting two recent practice squad players in its secondary.
Indianapolis (5-0) still won easily because its inconsistencies were nothing compared to Smith's troubles.
The Colts started the scoring on their first possession, driving 72 yards in 7 plays and 4.05 minutes ending with backup Running Back, Dominic Rhodes for a 6 yard run touchdown. On the march, Manning completed a 14-yard pass to tight end Dallas Clark on a 3rd-and-8 to keep the drive alive. Edgerrin James set the play up with a season-best 33-yard run getting the ball into the red zone.
This had fans believing it was going to be a long day for the 49er's. However, the Colts could only manage a defensive touchdown in the second quarter which came when 49er's Quarterback, Alex Smith misread the Colts' coverage and threw straight to Cato June who returned it for a touchdown and a 14 point lead. June's first touchdown of his NFL career.
Alex Smith's second interception came at 4:50 minutes in the second quarter by Jason David at Colts 25 and ran for 10 yards.
Smith's third interception came at 1:10 minutes just before halftime when he passed into triple coverage and Mike Doss picked it off. Even after San Francisco challenged the play, rather or not Doss had complete possession of the ball before going out of bounds. Call on the field stood
In the third quarter, the 49er's began to mount a rushing attack and got their first and only points of the game on the opening drive. Joe Nedney's 30-yard field goal ended a 10-play, 47-yard march that saw all but 17 of the yards come on the ground.
Then, after San Francisco's Bruce Thornton intercepted Manning in the end zone for a touchback, Smith marched his troops to the Indianapolis 37 before tossing his fourth interception of the game. Smith's pass was intended for Otis Amey, but was grabbed again by Cato June for the second time.
After that The Colts were in full throttle. Indianapolis' ensuing possession ended with a James one-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Later, Manning hit Troy Walters with an 18-yard touchdown pass for a 28-3 cushion with 5:58 remaining.
Late in the fourth quarter Alex Smith fumbles after being sacked by Robert Mathis and the ball was recovered by Larry Tripplett. Colts ball!
With 3:51 left in the 4th quarter, backup Quarterback, Jim Sorgi, finished for The Colts with 6 plays, the last 2 taking a knee and running down the clock. Making The Indianpolis Colts the only undefeated NFL Team.
Peyton Manning shook Alex Smith 's hand and dispensed a little postgame advice to the rookie: Keep working hard and don't get discouraged, because not every week will be this miserable.
The Colts will get its first test against an established offense on October 17, 2005, next Monday night when it hosts the St. Louis Rams.
PREVIEW Week 5
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-0)
Indianapolis remains on the road this week and will visit San Francisco for a rare meeting with the 49ers.
The teams have not met since November 21, 2001 - a 40-21 49er victory at the RCA Dome. The Colts haven't played in San Francisco since October 18, 1998 - a 34-31 Niner win.
The Colts lead the all-time series 22-18, but haven't beaten the Niners since October 15, 1995, 18-17 in Indy. San Francisco has won seven of the last eight meetings. The teams have played just six times since the 1970 merger when the Colts were placed in the AFC.
Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison has been a scoring connection 85 times, tying them with former 49ers Steve Young and Jerry Rice as the most prolific touchdown pass combination in NFL history.
This Week in Game 5, Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison are poised to make history, and the San Francisco 49ers know there's not much they can do to protect one of their franchise's most hallowed records in their own stadium.
The Colts have been winning games, but their offense has not quite duplicated its production of a year ago. However, they showed familiar explosiveness against the Titans last week and are poised for a breakout game against a defense that was overmatched by Arizona in Week 4. The combination of Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark will be too much for the lowly Niners.
In San Francisco, overall No. 1 draft pick Alex Smith was promoted to be the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback on Tuesday, ascending to the job after just four games as Tim Rattay's backup.
Smith will make his first NFL start on Sunday against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts at Candlestick Park. The former Utah star played in two of the 49ers' first four games, mopping up in losses to Philadelphia and Arizona.
I feel sorry for Smith, the poor guy - it appears he
will be playing with a backup left tackle guarding his blind side -
Isn't ritual sacrifice against the law in this country?
I see Freeney comming out of this game as The Number 1 Sack Leader in The NFL!
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