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Burris Provides Nice Finishing Touch

September 04, 2000|From Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sharing the spotlight with a little defensive back is no problem for Indianapolis' offensive stars.

Despite a productive day by their marquee quarterback, running back and wide receiver, the Colts did not wrap up a 27-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs until Jeff Burris took an interception back 27 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.

"It was a huge interception," said Colt quarterback Peyton Manning, who completed 22 of 32 passes for 273 yards and one touchdown. "It was nice to finally get them put away."

A blitzing Cornelius Bennett was about to grab the arm of Chief quarterback Elvis Grbac when Grbac threw the ball right into the arms of Burris.

Burris ran almost untouched for the touchdown that gave the Colts a 24-14 lead with 13:37 to play.

Until then, the defending AFC East champion Colts led, 17-14, after Mike Vanderjagt's 23-yard field goal with 14:13 left.

"That [interception] was a huge play because it gave us that 10-point lead and put a lot of pressure on them," Colt Coach Jim Mora said. "I thought we got better as the game went along and executed better in the second half."

Vanderjagt added a 40-yard field goal with 4:01 to play. It was his 28th consecutive field goal without a miss, tying him for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history.

The Colts got 124 yards and two scores in 28 carries from running back Edgerrin James.

Marvin Harrison, mercilessly picking on first-year starter Eric Warfield at left cornerback, had nine catches for 115 yards.

But turnovers wasted early scoring opportunities and allowed the Chiefs, who were winless in the exhibition season for the first time in franchise history and had not lost a home opener in 12 years, to stay in the game.

At the end of the first quarter, the Colts had 136 net yards to 20 for the Chiefs. But two turnovers--James lost a fumble at the Chief 10 and Manning had a pass intercepted by Donnie Edwards--kept the game scoreless.

The Colts finally scored on an 11-play, 92-yard drive, capped by James' one-yard dive early in the second quarter.

Tony Richardson's seven-yard touchdown catch brought the Chiefs even with 5:23 left in the first half.

Midway through the third quarter, Manning hooked up with James on a screen pass that went 27 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead.

The Chiefs tied the score, 14-14, when Grbac found Derrick Alexander with a 21-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter.

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