Final

Buccaneers 14

(3-2, 1-2 away)

Colts 33

(5-0, 3-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:05 PM ET, October 7, 2007

 

1 2 3 4 T
TB 0 7 0 714
IND 7 9 7 1033

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 253 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: K. Keith (IND) - 28 CAR, 121 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: A. Gonzalez (IND) - 7 REC, 71 YDS

Keith, Manning help Colts overcome loss of 5 starters to top Bucs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- No Marvin Harrison and no Joseph Addai proved no problem for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Playing without five injured starters, including two key players in their high-scoring offense, the Colts dominated the clock and their improving defense never gave Tampa Bay a chance in a 33-14 blowout.

In Good Company
Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts earned their third straight 5-0 start with a 33-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Only four teams in NFL history have started 5-0 in three straight seasons.

Team Seasons
Colts 2005-07
Rams 1999-2001
Vikings 1973-75
Packers 1929-31

Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning made it look easy by throwing two touchdowns, while first-time starter Kenton Keith rushed for 121 yards and two more scores.

"I have been proud of our team on many, many occasions, but this is one of the best," Colts coach Tony Dungy said after beating his former team. "I thought the backup guys didn't try to do too much. Everybody just did their job."

Conventional wisdom suggested that without Harrison, the eight-time Pro Bowl receiver, and Addai, the Colts' feature back, the offense might be susceptible against Tampa Bay's usually strong defense.

It was no contest.

Manning finished 27-of-39 for 253 yards and simply used other players to replace the missing parts. Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne, tight end Dallas Clark and first-round draft pick Anthony Gonzalez each caught seven passes. Gonzalez entered the game with only six catches all season.

The magnitude of the rout wasn't even reflected by the score.

Indianapolis held the ball for an astounding 38:15, including all but 90 seconds in the third quarter when the Bucs ran three plays. Tampa Bay (3-2) finished with 17 yards rushing after losing Carnell "Cadillac" Williams for the season last week and then losing backup Michael Pittman in the second quarter Sunday with a sprained right ankle. It was the lowest rushing total allowed by a Colts team since 1971.

After three quarters Tampa Bay had 74 yards of offense -- 56 coming on its only meaningful scoring drive in the second quarter -- and was outgained by the Colts 400-177.

The 40 offensive plays run by Tampa was the third-fewest ever allowed by a Colts team. The New York Jets had 34 in November 2003 and San Francisco had 39 in September 1963.

"You do the math there," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "You're not able to do a lot when you don't have the ball."

The bad news for the rest of the NFL is the Colts now have two weeks for most of their injuries to heal.

Scouts Buzz
The Colts dominated on both sides of the ball, more than doubling the Bucs' total yards and nearly doubling the Bucs' time of possession. Manning and Co. used a good mix of run and pass to keep the previously fifth-ranked Bucs defense off balance. Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore didn't change the Indy approach despite injuries to its stars, running the ball with backup Kenton Keith (121 yards) and spreading the ball effectively to six different targets. The Indy defense derailed the Tampa Bay offense by using its base 4-3 scheme and a mixture of two- and five-underneath man coverages. There was no magic in what the Indy defense employed; the front seven just stymied the Bucs' ground game and forced QB Jeff Garcia to put the ball in the air more often than Tampa Bay likes. The once-much maligned Colts run defense, using a good mix of interior stunts and hard-nosed football, held the Bucs to just 17 yards on the ground.
-- Ken Moll, Scouts Inc.
Complete Week 5 Scouts Buzz

It's the third straight year Indianapolis has gone into the bye week with an unbeaten record, and the Colts believe Addai (shoulder), Harrison (knee), linebacker Freddy Keiaho (concussion) and safety Bob Sanders (ribs) will all be healthy when they start their toughest stretch of the season at Jacksonville in two weeks.

Linebacker Rob Morris, the other starter missing Sunday's game, will miss the rest of the season with a torn tendon in his knee.

But on Sunday, the Bucs were hurt more by their injuries.

Without Williams and Pittman, the Tampa Bay ground game went nowhere, and with first-time starter Donald Penn replacing left tackle Luke Petitgout, quarterback Jeff Garcia was under constant pressure from three-time Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney and defensive tackle Raheem Brock.

"He was playing somebody who has great speed on the edge," Garcia said. "He did the best he could do. It was a great challenge for him. He'll just get better from here."

Manning took care of the rest himself.

He connected with Clark on a 10-yard TD pass on the Colts' first possession, then got a 1-yard run from Keith -- his first NFL score -- on the next. That gave Indianapolis a 13-0 lead before Tampa Bay recorded a first down.

Garcia briefly halted the rout by converting Tanard Jackson's interception into a 3-yard TD pass to Alex Smith in the second quarter.

Then the Colts took control.

Adam Vinatieri kicked a 27-yard field goal to close the first half, and Keith opened the second half with a 7-yard touchdown run to make it 23-7.

If the outcome wasn't already settled by then, Manning made sure of it by finding Wayne for a 9-yard TD pass to make it 30-7.

Garcia finished 18-of-23 for 143 yards and two touchdowns, both 3-yarders to Smith.

"Some guys knew they were going to play all week, some found out about 1 1/2 hours before the game," Manning said. "You certainly don't like to be missing some of your main players, but when it happens that old cliche is true. Other guys have to step up and a lot of guys did that today."

Game notes


Indianapolis broke the franchise record for consecutive home victories Sunday. The Colts have now won 12 in a row at the RCA Dome. ... Rookie Gaines Adams blocked Vinatieri's second extra-point attempt, giving the Bucs their first blocked extra point since 1986. ... Manning's two touchdown passes now give him 285 for his career, two behind John Unitas' franchise record.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TB
IND
1st Downs1228
Passing 1st downs
1015
Rushing 1st downs
112
1st downs from penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
4-912-16
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays4077
Total Yards177400
Yards per play4.45.2
Total Drives810
Passing160253
Comp-Att
21-2729-37
Yards per pass
5.76.8
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-50-0
Rushing17147
Rushing Attempts
1240
Yards per rush
1.43.7
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-24-6
Penalties3-212-15
Turnovers11
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession21:4538:15

Passing Leaders

TBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Garcia18/231436.2201-5
Gradkowski3/4225.5010-0
INDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning29/372536.8210-0

Rushing Leaders

TBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Graham6111.809
Garcia177.007
INDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Keith281214.3222
Dawson8243.005

Receiving Leaders

TBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hilliard8587.3016
Galloway45012.5027
INDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gonzalez77110.1021
Wayne7628.9116

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTBIND
indTD10:27Dallas Clark, 10 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 42 yds, 2:49
07
SECOND QUARTERTBIND
indTD14:57Kenton Keith, 1 yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick blocked)
Drive info: 14 plays, 74 yds, 8:09
013
tbTD6:47Alex Smith, 3 yd pass from Jeff Garcia (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 56 yds, 5:32
713
indFG0:05Adam Vinatieri 27 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 67 yds, 2:01
716
THIRD QUARTERTBIND
indTD7:24Kenton Keith, 7 yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 77 yds, 7:37
723
FOURTH QUARTERTBIND
indTD15:00Reggie Wayne, 9 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 68 yds, 5:45
730
tbTD9:24Alex Smith, 3 yd pass from Jeff Garcia (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 81 yds, 5:36
1430
indFG2:57Adam Vinatieri 35 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 67 yds, 6:28
1433