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INDIANAPOLIS 30, HOUSTON 21

Manning Makes the Right Moves

October 27, 2003|From Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — When the Indianapolis Colts needed a spark Sunday, Peyton Manning cranked it up -- again.

He found all the right receivers, made all the right calls and repeatedly burned the Houston Texans' secondary, leading Indianapolis to a 30-21 victory.

"Peyton has been outstanding," Coach Tony Dungy said. "The things and corrections we talk about at halftime, he is doing."

He didn't wait until halftime to make changes after a sluggish start Sunday, but it was a typical Manning performance.

His short flares opened up the deep routes, and play fakes opened up the middle of the field.

The Texans (2-5) had no answer for the three-time All-Pro as they lost their third game in a row and dropped to 0-3 against Indianapolis (6-1).

Manning completed 22 of 30 passes for 269 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 133.9, the fifth-highest mark in his six-year NFL career.

Manning hooked up with Marvin Harrison eight times for 100 yards, his fourth straight 100-yard game. Reggie Wayne caught six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns, including a 57-yarder to open the second half.

Then Manning turned the workload over to running back Edgerrin James, who played for the first time since Sept. 21 after breaking two bones in his lower back. James ran 23 times for 104 yards -- most of it in the fourth quarter.

"Usually we use the run to set up the pass, but these guys mix their coverages a lot, so we wanted to throw the ball," Manning said, "then kind of work the run a little bit."

Houston had other problems.

On its second series, David Carr was sacked by Raheem Brock and sprained his right ankle. He finished the series, left for two series, then returned and led Houston on a 79-yard touchdown drive before reinjuring the ankle and leaving for good late in the first half.

A team spokesman called the injury a high ankle sprain. Carr, who was eight for nine for 62 yards with a one-yard touchdown pass to Billy Miller, is scheduled for an MRI exam.

"It felt like it got rolled on," he said. "The X-ray looked fine, so I went back out for that next series. Then on the touchdown, I think I messed it up again. So it was about time to get out of there."

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