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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
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
"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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