passes for four touchdowns
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-0) at TENNESSEE TITANS (1-2)
DATE: Sunday, October 2, 2005
THE GREEN DECAL: The green decal on the helmets of players for both teams was in recognition of Sunday night's Arizona-San Francisco game in Mexico City, the first NFL regular-season game played outside the United States. Players in all games showcased the decal.
The defense entered the game with three consecutive games of holding their opponents to 10 points or less. And when the clock ticked off on this one, they joined the 1962 Packers as the only teams since World War II that accomplished that feat over their first four games of the regular season.
Despite that, the offense couldn't find its way in the first three games of the 2005 season.
On October 2, 2005 the rest of the league has now been put on notice that the Colts offense is back after their stomping of the hapless Tennessee Titans.
Indianapolis piled up 360 yards of offense and defeated the Titans 31-10 to improve its record to 4-0.
The Colts got off to a quick start, as they recieved the kickoff and Peyton took over.
In 7 plays, Manning was
perfect on four throws and Edgerrin James ran three times during the
81-yard march in 3:29 minutes, which ended with a 25-yard strike from
Manning to Reggie Wayne who was wide open with Titans safety Tank
Williams late sliding over to cover in the back left corner of the
end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Peyton Manning threw for 264 yards and added to his TD total with four touchdowns, including the one to Reggie Wayne for a 25-yard TD on their opening drive, an 11-yarder to Marvin Harrison in the second quarter, an 8-yarder to Edgerrin James in the third, and a 24-yarder to Harrison in the fourth. James finished with 90 yards rushing, while Manning completed 20 of 27 passes for 264 yards and four TDs. "I guess we won't have to answer the question what is wrong with the offense now," Colts coach Tony Dungy said.
Marvin Harrison caught nine passes for 109 yards, and Edgerrin James also ran for 90 yards in helping the Colts improve to 4-0 with their highest point total this season.
The conservative Colts offense we've seen the past few weeks so far has been put aside. Peyton Manning and that incredible passing attack is likely to continue to be as aggressive as it has so far against the Titans' shaky secondary.
The Titans chose to spend most of the game in their basic defense instead of filling up the secondary to guard against the pass. They did stop James three times inside the Tennessee 7, forcing the Colts to settle for a 20-yard field goal by Mike Vanderjagt in the second quarter.
That was the only big stop from a defense that watched the Colts convert seven of 10 third downs.
Manning finally connected
with Harrison on an 11-yard TD pass for a 17-3 lead just before
halftime for Harrison's 100th career TD catch. They tied Steve Young
and Jerry Rice for most touchdowns between a quarterback and receiver
with 85 career TDs on a 24-yard pass with 13:09 left in the game and
a 31-3 lead.
The Colts defense came up
with their share of big playes, including sacks by Robert Mathis and
One the Colts biggest defense
play came on this one in the second quarter. Tennessee looked like it
might have a chance to rally at the end of the first half. Trailing
17-3, McNair found Drew Bennett on a 28-yard toss to the Colts 2 yard
line as Bennett lost control of the ball and it went into the hands
of safety Bob Sanders for an interception.
Officials initially ruled the play a Titans reception and a first down at the Colts 2.
The Colts called timeout to allow officials time to review the play. Because the play occurred after the two-minute warning, Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy could not throw the red flag to call for a coach's-challenge review.
"It's an easy rule, really," Dungy said. "If you go up for a ball and don't get both feet down, you have to finish the catch. The ball can't come out. It came out and we didn't think it hit the ground, so I thought at the every worst it should be an incomplete pass and I thought we should have the ball.
We called timeout. I was a ittle surprised they didn't review it right away, then even after the timeout, it took a while. But they got the right call, so we were happy about it."
"I thought Tennessee was going to come out and go quick before they (the officials in the replay booth) could get involved. That's why we called timeout."
After review, referee Walt Anderson overturned the ruling, giving the Colts possession going into the locker room.
"It was a big play at that time," Dungy said
Sanders led the team with 10
tackles (8 solo, 2 assists).
Mathis, a third-year veteran
from Alabama A&M, tied Freeney for the team lead in sacks early
in the second half with a 6-yard sack of McNair on 3rd-and-3 from the
The Indianapolis defense forced a quick punt to start the second half and Manning followed with an eight-play drive for another touchdown. He completed all four of his passes following it with his fourth touchdown pass, an 8-yarder to Edgerrin James giving the Colts a 24-3 cushion midway through the third quarter. Peyton finished 20-of-27 passes.
Manning and the Colts were numbingly efficient and had fans streaming to the exits midway through the third quarter.
The Titans answered with a drive of more than seven minutes, but the tough Indy defense stiffened inside its own 20 and forced a 38-yard field goal attempt that Bironas missed wide left in the final minute of the third quarter.
Back came the Colts with a
72-yard touchdown drive. Manning completed just three passes during
the eight-play series, but they went for 23 yards to Wayne - who made
an acrobatic catch along the sideline, 24 yards to Dallas Clark and
24 yards to Harrison, who tiptoed along the right sideline before
knocking over the pylon for the score.
As The Indinapolis Colts And The tennessee Titans are two of the youngest teams in the NFL, The Titans (1-3) are the NFL's youngest team, and their inexperience showed. Drives ended repeatedly with dropped passes, including one that turned into an interception, costly penalties and two timeouts wasted in a march that finished with a missed field goal.
Steve McNair did his best to carry the Titans as he scrambled four times for 40 yards, but he was the Titans' leading rusher. He was 28-of-37 for 220 yards, and his only touchdown pass came on a 6-yarder to rookie Bo Scaife with 4:31 left in the game.
Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said he was disappointed by the lack of execution. Center Justin Hartwig was much more succinct.
"Today they just blew us out of the water. When we didn't come out in the second half and put points on the board right away, it was pretty much over," Hartwig said.
"It's tough," Titans linebacker Peter Sirmon said. "You can't stop it. Peyton Manning knows what he's doing with the ball every time, and you've got to give him credit."
The Colts now won five straight over the Titans, including three in a row at the Coliseum, and lead the division by two games over Jacksonville (2-2), which lost at home to Denver 20-7.
Peyton Manning completed his first five passes on the day after ending last week's game with 12 straight completions. The 17 straight completed passes tied a Colts record set previously by Bert Jones in a December 15, 1974 game against the New York Jets
Marvin Harrison notched his 48th career 100-yard receiving game, surpassing Michael Irvin for third place on the all-time list
Edgerrin James finished with 90 yards on 21 carries
The Colts remain the only NFL team not to allow a sack.
Tennessee was flagged nine times for 76 yards, including a 15-yarder against rookie cornerback Adam "Pac Man" who made his first NFL start and was flagged three times in the first half, played like a rookie in his debut as a starter while trying to keep pace with the seasoned Colts receivers. He also fumbled once on a kickoff return when linebacker Keith O'Neil reached in and ripped the ball out of his hands. But the Titans recovered the loose ball.
also featured the pro debut of Jarrett Payton, son of the late NFL
great Walter Payton. The younger Payton carried four times for 37
yards in the closing minutes.
Sunday was a big day for the Manning clan.
Peyton and younger brother Eli, the starting quarterback for the New York Giants, each had four touchdown passes. Eli's came in a 44-24 win over St. Louis.
As reporters pressed around his locker after the win over the Titans, Peyton asked, "Did the Giants win?"
A reporter informed him the New England Patriots lost.
Manning didn't care.
"Family first," he said.
Peyton smiled when told that Eli matched him touchdown for touchdown.
"He threw four? Did he really? Golly," he said. "After the game is the only time I usually check it. That's how I have to keep up with his career, through highlights and through scoreboard scores. I never get to see him play."
The Colts play at the 49ers next Sunday.
Their first trip to San Francisco since Oct. 18, 1998, on Sunday. That was the seventh game of Manning's rookie season and represented a breakout of sorts. The Colts lost 34-31, but Manning completed 18-of-30 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Washington and Tampa Bay are heading into week five as the only undefeated teams in the NFL.
Ya gotta love this . . .
Tom Brady at end of Patriots 41 - 17 loss to Chargers
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