Colts 10

(8-4, 5-2 away)

Browns 6

(4-8, 1-6 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, November 30, 2008

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH 

1 2 3 4 T
IND 3 0 0 710
CLE 3 3 0 06

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 125 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: J. Lewis (CLE) - 24 CAR, 77 YDS

Receiving: R. Wayne (IND) - 4 REC, 46 YDS

Mathis returns Anderson's fumble for TD to continue Colts' resurgence

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Peyton Manning stepped up to the podium for a postgame interview like he has done so many times following an Indianapolis win. But this time there were no touchdown passes to review, no career milestones to celebrate, no last-minute scoring drive for him to detail.

The quarterback wasn't the star.

Fast Facts

• For just the second time in Peyton Manning's career (since 1998), the Colts won a game without scoring an offensive touchdown.

• Cleveland tied a season low with six points. It was the third time this season they've been held to six points.

• The Colts extended their win streak to five straight and all five wins have been by six points or fewer.

• Manning finished with a season-low 125 pass yards and no touchdowns. It was the second time he was held without a passing touchdown this season.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

The Colts had 11 on defense.

Defensive end Robert Mathis scooped up quarterback Derek Anderson's fumble and rumbled 37 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Colts stayed in the thick of the AFC playoff chase by winning their fifth straight, 10-6 over the Cleveland Browns, who suffered another demoralizing loss on Sunday.

Mathis' big play helped bail out Manning and Indy's high-powered offense, which failed to score a TD for the first time since Sept. 7, 2003, a 9-6 win at Cleveland.

Afterward, Manning could only laugh when asked to assess his performance.

"I'm sure I could, but I'd rather not," Manning said with a laugh. "Our defense won the game for us."

Manning finished 15-for-21 for 125 yards, a season low and only the 10th time in 172 career starts that he was under 150 yards.

"We scored three points on them," he said. "That's a great credit to their defense. We still won, but we probably didn't play winning offensive football. You score three points, that's not good enough."

Adam Vinatieri kicked a 30-yard field goal as the Colts (8-4) capped a 5-0 November, a month-long run that has allowed them to rebound from a 3-4 start. They've managed to slide by each time during the streak, winning the five games by a combined 20 points

The Browns (4-8) held Manning and Co. without a TD, but still hit a new low in their sunken season.

They lost their fourth straight at home and will likely be without quarterback Derek Anderson for their final four games.

Anderson, starting in place of the injured Brady Quinn, sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee when he was hit by the helmet of his teammate in the closing minutes. Beleaguered Browns coach Romeo Crennel said Anderson "may be in tough shape" and said Ken Dorsey is his starter for next Sunday at Tennessee.

On Cleveland's last drive, Anderson, making his first start since being benched by Crennel, was dropping back to pass when offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer was knocked back into him by a charging Mathis. Anderson tried to get up, but couldn't and had to be helped to the sideline. Dorsey came in for the final three plays and was intercepted on the Browns' last snap.

"It's not very good," said Anderson, who will undergo more tests on Monday. "I felt a burn, a pain. It's disappointing."

Indianapolis Colts Cleveland Browns Video

Watch highlights from the Indianapolis Colts' 10-6 win over the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns also lost tight end Kellen Winslow, who went out on the first play of the third quarter with an ankle injury and didn't return. He declined interview requests following the game.

The loss of two of his best players won't help Crennel, who may be down to his final days for the Browns, who are 1-6 at home and haven't scored a touchdown in nearly 135 minutes.

"The guys aren't going to give up," Anderson said. "Every single guy in here cares about each other and cares about winning. We love RAC [Crennel] and we're going to play for RAC. That's the biggest thing in the last four weeks."

Manning was unable to find the same gaping holes in Cleveland's secondary that Houston quarterback Sage Rosenfels, Denver's Jay Cutler and Baltimore's Joe Flacco exploited in recent weeks. The Colts had only 215 total yards, ran just 50 plays and had the ball for less than 28 minutes. They were also without Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders and starting center Jeff Saturday.

But Indianapolis won, and that's all that matters this time of year.

One play was all the Colts needed.

With the Browns clinging to a 6-3 lead, Anderson was setting up to throw on third down at his own 45 when he was hit from behind by Dwight Freeney, whose bull rush drove tackle Joe Thomas into Anderson's back. The ball squirted loose, Mathis picked it up and lumbered in for the game's first and only TD.

"The ball was on the ground, I scooped it up and ran for my life," Mathis said. "It's the first time I've ever run with a football. I saw all that grass in front of me. I was looking back and hoping I had enough gas left to get there."

Game notes

Sanders missed his third straight game with swelling in his right knee. ... The Browns said Quinn still has not decided whether to have surgery on his broken finger. ... Manning was intercepted twice, but one came on a desperation heave on the last play of the first half. ... Browns K Phil Dawson made field goals from 34 and 25 yards but missed from 34. ... Colts LB Gary Brackett injured his ankle in the second quarter and did not return.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1413
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays5064
Total Yards215193
Yards per play4.33.0
Total Drives99
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-20-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

cleFG9:09Phil Dawson 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 30 yds, 5:32
indFG2:02Adam Vinatieri 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 65 yds, 7:06
cleFG7:36Phil Dawson 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 16 plays, 66 yds, 9:23
indTD9:55Robert Mathis 37 Yard Fumble Return (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 6 yds, 2:59