Manning made one perfect read after another, throwing underneath
to soften up the Raiders and then sending Edgerrin James slamming
through the middle as Indianapolis rolled to a 35-14 victory.
"You come out running the ball, and you realize they're not
blitzing," Manning said. "If you can block the right guys, the
run game should be good."
The Colts (4-1) won their fourth straight and head into their
bye week atop the AFC South. Oakland (2-3) fell to its 12th
consecutive road loss, and Jerry Rice failed to catch a pass for
the second time in four weeks.
Manning, last year's co-MVP, again was sensational -- especially
during the first 30 minutes, when he finished three long scoring
drives with touchdown passes.
In the first half of the Colts' two home games this season,
Manning has thrown eight touchdown passes. On Sunday, he finished
16-of-26 for 198 yards, his lowest total of the season, with one
James ran for 136 yards on 32 carries and sealed the game with a
touchdown run for the third straight week. It was his third
100-yard game of the season.
"It's really a matter of seeing what the other team is going to
take away," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "They tried to take away
our deep balls today."
Manning made all the right adjustments, while the Colts' defense
did more than enough to stop the Raiders.
Indianapolis limited Oakland to 269 yards, and just 53 yards
rushing. The Colts sacked Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins four
times and picked off three passes -- with rookie Jason David running
one back for a touchdown in the final minutes.
Rice holds the NFL record for consecutive games with a
reception, 274, a streak that ended earlier this season.
"I have always pretty much had it in my hands," Rice said.
"It's different now. I don't know if this situation is going to
work out here next year or not."
For the Raiders, it was more of the same -- turnovers, penalties
and an inefficient offense.
An offside call kept alive one Colts scoring drive, and the
Raiders also were flagged for two defensive holding calls in the
end zone. And Frank Middleton's holding penalty wiped out a 56-yard
touchdown run by Amos Zereoue.
Oakland wasn't happy with the result or the officials.
"If they want to put skirts on the offensive players, then put
skirts and pumps on them and let them play another game,"
cornerback Phillip Buchanon said.
The bigger problem for Oakland was the Colts' dynamic duo --
Manning and James -- and a deliberate, pounding attack.
Manning started with a 1-yard TD pass to James Mungro. Helped by
an offside call against the Raiders on fourth-and-1 at the Oakland
40, he completed another drive with a 35-yard TD pass to a
wide-open Reggie Wayne.
Oakland closed to 14-7 when Justin Fargas jumped in for a 1-yard
But Manning countered with a 4-yard TD pass to Dallas Clark that
made it 21-7 at the half.
James took care of the rest and scored on a 1-yard run,
following the two holding calls, to make it 28-7 early in the
"They're working hard to create balance on offense and they're
getting it," Raiders coach Norv Turner said. "They're keeping the
football. You look at the clock and now it's time to get going."
The Raiders got within 28-14 when Collins connected on a 21-yard
TD pass to Courtney Anderson midway through the fourth quarter.
Collins was 28-of-44 for 245 yards with one touchdown, and Ronald
Curry caught 10 passes for 72 yards.
"I thought it was as complete a team win as we've had in a
couple years here," Dungy said.<
^Notes@: Four members of the U.S. Olympic swim team -- Amanda Beard,
Jenny Thompson, Neil Walker and Chad Carvin -- participated in the
coin toss ceremony. ... The Colts are now 81-81 at the RCA Dome,
the first time they've been .500 at home since moving to
Indianapolis in 1984. ... The loss ended the Raiders' four-game
winning streak in the series. ... Indianapolis' Brad Pyatt sprained
an ankle on the opening kickoff and did not return.