Final

Colts 31

(7-0, 4-0 away)

Panthers 7

(4-3, 0-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 28, 2007

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 

1 2 3 4 T
IND 3 7 14 731
CAR 7 0 0 07

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 255 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: J. Addai (IND) - 23 CAR, 100 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: R. Wayne (IND) - 7 REC, 168 YDS, 1 TD

Manning eclipses Unitas' TD record in Colts' victory

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Peyton Manning set another record and the Indianapolis Colts are 7-0 again.

Now, everybody can look ahead to the showdown with New England.

Opening Act
Indianapolis Colts

Only three teams have started three straight seasons at least 6-0. By improving to 7-0 after Sunday's win vs. the Panthers, the Colts only trail the 1929-31 Packers for the best opening three seasons in a row.

Team Years Records
Packers '29-'31 10-0, 8-0,
9-0
Colts '05-'07 13-0, 9-0,
7-0
Rams '99-'01 6-0, 6-0, 6-0

Manning shook off a slow start to throw for 254 yards and two touchdowns and broke Johnny Unitas' team record for career scoring passes in the Colts' 31-7 win over the injury-plagued Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Joseph Addai rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns and caught a TD pass from Manning, who was outplayed early by 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde.

But when Testaverde left at halftime with tendinitis in his right Achilles tendon, Manning made sure the Colts' much-anticipated matchup with Tom Brady and the Patriots wouldn't be tarnished by dominating the second half.

The Colts became the first team since the 1929-31 Green Bay Packers to win their first seven games for three straight seasons. It'll get much tougher next week when they host the dominating Patriots. New England crushed Washington 52-7 later on Sunday.

"Everybody's been talking about it for a long time, except us," Manning said. "I guess now it's safe to talk about it."

Manning was worried early. It took him nearly the entire first quarter to get on the field. He didn't complete a pass until early in the second quarter and started 2-for-9.

"When we've had halves like that in the past, there would be a little frustration," said coach Tony Dungy, who passed Don Shula for the most wins in Colts' history with 74. "But we've been there, and our guys do have a lot of confidence in our coaching staff."

The Panthers (4-3) took a 7-0 lead behind Testaverde, who turns 44 in two weeks.

Getting the starting nod for the second straight game ahead of David Carr, who's still recovering from a back injury, Testaverde led the Panthers on an opening 80-yard touchdown drive. It lasted a team record-tying 18 plays and more than 11 minutes, the longest by time in the NFL this season

But Testaverde also was intercepted by Antoine Bethea in the end zone in the second quarter, and aggravated an existing Achilles tendon injury when guard Mike Wahle stepped on his foot.

After completing 12 of 20 passes for 82 yards, Testaverde began the second half with an ice pack around his ankle and sitting on the bench next to Jake Delhomme. Carolina's original starting QB was in a sling after undergoing season-ending elbow surgery.

"There are days when it doesn't bother me at all, and days like today," Testaverde said. "We just have to be smart with it, and hopefully it will clear up."

Before Carr could replace him, the Colts had taken a 17-7 lead on Manning's 4-yard touchdown pass to Addai on the first drive of the half.

Manning completed just 14 of 30 passes, but shook off early problems to eclipse another one of Unitas' records. His second TD, a perfectly thrown 59-yard pass to Reggie Wayne late in the third quarter was the 288th of his career, one more than Unitas.

"I'm a little uncomfortable talking about the same records that he had but certainly it is an honor," Manning said.

Carr was the quarterback for Houston the last time the Colts lost -- on Christmas Eve -- but the Panthers were overmatched in the second half as they dropped to 0-3 at home.

And it didn't sit well with Carolina receiver Steve Smith. Held without a catch after the opening drive, Smith was seen screaming at Carr on the sidelines late in the game.

"I'm trying to get him the football. And he's not necessarily concerned about himself getting the football," Carr said of Smith. "He just wants our team to be better. I just went up to him and said, 'If there's anything I can do that you see from the wide receiver position that can make us a better team, then let me know.' We just got talking because we're too old to keep secrets from each other. And he's not like that at all. He'll tell you straight up."

Smith, held to two catches for 18 yards, did not speak to reporters after the game.

Carr completed 11 of 18 passes for 68 yards and DeShaun Foster rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers.

Wayne caught seven passes for 168 yards as Manning's primary receiver with Marvin Harrison out with a knee injury. The Colts also played without left tackle Tony Ugoh, but Manning had plenty of time to throw in the second half as they won their 12th straight game dating to last season.

Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson was lost to a neck injury in the second half, but Dungy hoped he'd be ready for the Patriots.

"I think it'll be a circus," Dungy said, laughing. "I think it'll be a very, very much hyped game."

Game notes


The Panthers also had an 18-play touchdown drive against Atlanta in 1995, the team's inaugural season. ... Panthers DT Kris Jenkins was called for a 15-yard penalty for driving Manning into the turf in the third quarter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
IND
CAR
1st Downs2320
Passing 1st downs
1111
Rushing 1st downs
98
1st downs from penalties
31
3rd down efficiency
6-1210-21
4th down efficiency
0-12-2
Total Plays6478
Total Yards395293
Yards per play6.23.8
Total Drives1211
Passing264185
Comp-Att
15-3228-45
Yards per pass
8.34.1
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-00-0
Rushing131108
Rushing Attempts
3233
Yards per rush
4.13.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-51-1
Penalties5-278-55
Turnovers13
Fumbles lost
12
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession23:5536:05

Passing Leaders

INDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning14/302558.5200-0
Sorgi1/294.5000-0
CARC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Carr16/251034.1000-0
Testaverde12/20824.1010-0

Rushing Leaders

INDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Addai231004.3216
Keith6335.5010
CARCARYDSAVGTDLG
Foster19623.3113
Carr5214.2013

Receiving Leaders

INDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Wayne716824.0159
Utecht24120.5030
CARRECYDSAVGTDLG
King10828.2012
Colbert4358.8015

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERINDCAR
carTD4:03DeShaun Foster, 3 yd run (John Kasay kick is good)
Drive info: 18 plays, 80 yds, 11:01
07
indFG0:49Adam Vinatieri 20 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 18 yds, 2:07
37
SECOND QUARTERINDCAR
indTD1:38Joseph Addai, 2 yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 86 yds, 1:58
107
THIRD QUARTERINDCAR
indTD12:16Joseph Addai, 4 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 60 yds, 2:49
177
indTD4:55Reggie Wayne, 59 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 71 yds, 0:38
247
FOURTH QUARTERINDCAR
ind13:18
Drive info: 11 plays, 55 yds, 4:17
247
indTD13:14Joseph Addai, 12 yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 55 yds, 4:17
317