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Colts Team Report: Broken stride and injured pride

Indianapolis Colts Week 15 Team Report

(Sports Network) - The Indianapolis Colts had their four-game winning streak snapped a week ago when they fell to the Tennessee Titans, 27-17, for the second time this season. The loss puts the Colts in a tough position with just three games left in the regular season. Indianapolis would lose the AFC South crown to Tennessee if the two teams finished with the same record because of the Titans' season sweep.

Peyton Manning, who was playing in Tennessee for the first time since his college days, completed 26-of-42 passes for 297 yards and one touchdown. Marvin Harrison, who grabbed nine passes for 76 yards, set the franchise record for career receptions with his first catch of the game. But Colts head coach Tony Dungy was still disappointed in the outcome of the game because it squandered the division edge.

"It was kind of like we played six or seven weeks ago," Dungy said. "We couldn't stop them in the first half. We turned the ball over. We just did things we shouldn't do. Our special teams kind of got handled. So, it just wasn't a good performance in a big game.

"This is crunch time. We have three games left and we need to play our best from here on out."

Manning suffered a minor knee injury in the loss to Tennessee and it forced him to spend some time receiving treatment this week. However, the sturdy signal-caller said the injury will not prevent him from doing anything in Sunday's showdown with the Browns.

"Any time you come in and get four rounds of treatment on a Tuesday, you'd rather not have to do that," Manning said. "It's basically like you've got a balloon on your knee. It's more of an annoyance than anything else.

"I'm going to practice and try to control the swelling...but it's not going to prevent me from doing anything. We caught it early, and just kind of controlled it."

That's good news because the Colts' offense depends on the arm of Manning. The Colts throw for an average of 252.8 yards per game (fourth in the NFL). His primary target has been Harrison, who is on pace to set some receiving records this season. In fact, Harrison, who already has 118 catches on the year, is just six away from breaking the NFL single-season record set by Detroit's Herman Moore in 1995. However, last week Harrison, who is usually automatic, dropped a pass near the end zone. If he scored on the play, it would have brought the Colts to within four points with five minutes to play in the third quarter.

"Totally my fault," Harrison said of the dropped pass. "You've got to catch the ball before you run. That's elementary. The main thing I've got to focus on is correcting the mistakes and come up with the easy plays you normally make, that anyone could make. A fourth-grader could make that [catch]."

Last week, the Colts' running game, which is averaging 95.5 yards per contest (27th in the NFL) continued to struggle. Edgerrin James rushed for just 70 yards on 18 carries, and backup James Mungro rushed four times for 12 yards and a score. In order for the Colts' offense to be successful it needs a strong effort from the running game. Not only would that free up the receivers, but it would also give Manning more time in the pocket. However, the offensive line has done a very good job at protecting their leader, as Manning has been sacked just 20 times thus far.

COMING UP: The Colts wrap up the regular season with home games against the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars.

12/13 14:45:24 ET

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