Marshall surpasses T.O.'s 20-catch mark
INDIANAPOLIS -- Brandon Marshall didn't enjoy his single-game receptions record much.
That's because his 21 grabs came in Denver's 28-16 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday.
"I believe it was one of those games where, whenever you accomplish something like that, it definitely feels good," he said. "But we have goals, and our only goal is to win games. I'd definitely trade in a couple of those catches for a win."
Marshall surpassed the mark San Francisco's Terrell Owens set on Dec. 17, 2000. He finished with 200 yards and two touchdowns and bettered his team record of 18 catches, set on Sept. 14, 2008 against San Diego.
Brandon Marshall is the only person in NFL history with 18 or more receptions in one game twice.
Year Player Team Opp. Rec. 2009 Brandon Marshall DEN Colts 21 2000 Terrell Owens SF Bears 20 2008 Brandon Marshall DEN Chargers 18 1950 Tom Fears L.A. Rams Packers 18 1980 Clark Gaines NYJ 49ers 17
He tied Owens' mark on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton in the fourth quarter. He set the record on Denver's final offensive play when he gained 7 yards on a fourth-down play before lateraling to lineman Chris Kuper for 7 more yards.
Marshall felt good about his chances for success against the Colts.
"I went to my receiving coach [Adam Gase] before the game and I told him, 'I think this is going to be the best game I've ever played,'" Marshall said. "Just because of the environment, the situation of playing the Colts. I believe big players step up in big games, and this was a big game for us."
Marshall had 10 catches at halftime and 15 at the end of the third quarter. He was told he was nearing the record.
"Someone came up to me and said I was close, but I didn't have an idea of where I was," he said.
Colts ornerback Kelvin Hayden gave Marshall his due.
"He's one of those elite receivers," Hayden said. "He's 6-4. You've got to play him aggressive and play your game. You can't get caught up into what he's doing and things like that. You just have to be effective at doing what you're doing and the chips will fall your way eventually.
"You know he's going to make his plays, but you have to make your plays as well."
Orton completed 29 of 41 passes for 277 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He targeted Marshall 28 times, despite heavy coverage.
"He got a lot of attention for sure, but he's such a special player where he can beat them over the top," Orton said. "They weren't taking him away all that often, so we just kept on going."
One play Marshall didn't make came on a third-and-6 at the Colts 20 in the third quarter. Orton underthrew Marshall and Tim Jennings intercepted near the goal line, allowing the Colts to maintain their 21-7 lead.
"On the one interception, I'd throw it again," Orton said. "It's one-on-one coverage out there. You give me that matchup, and I'll take it 100 times out of 100 times."
As good as Marshall's effort was, the rest of the team had eight catches for 77 yards, which had much to do with Denver's loss.
"When you lose, you lose," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. "There's no moral victories in this league. We understand where we want to go. We just got a really close-up look of it for four quarters."
Colts linebacker Clint Session seemed a bit shocked when told how much damage Marshall inflicted.
"He got 21 catches today?" Session asked. "That's a good tribute to that guy. We knew he was going to be a tough task to cover coming into this game. He got his, but they lost."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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