INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning wanted to get the Colts offense fixed Thursday night.
Did he ever.
The three-time league MVP threw two touchdown passes in three series, and Indianapolis pulled off a rare 23-15 preseason victory over Philadelphia, which played without Michael Vick.
"I think everybody wanted to be in there. The entire offense felt hungry after last week," Manning said. "Sure, there were some mistakes we can learn from, but there were some good things we can learn from."
If this is the learning curve, the Colts will gladly take it.
Manning, unhappy with last week's performance and his lack of playing time against Minnesota, lobbied for more action Thursday and delivered a masterful performance. He drove the Colts 81 yards for a touchdown on their first series, threw a 76-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne and finished 10 of 14 for 167 yards in less than 11 minutes.
His backup Curtis Painter, a rookie from Purdue, looked good, too. He was 11 of 19 for 116 yards with one interception and led the Colts to three field goals.
Even Indy's often criticized defense improved. It forced two three-and-outs on the first four series, had three sacks and forced two turnovers, both of which led to Indy scores.
New coach Jim Caldwell couldn't quibble with Indy's play Thursday.
"They [the starters] had a couple of real good solid drives in there, performing pretty well," Caldwell said. "We were pleased with what we saw."
Philadelphia, though, was nowhere near full strength.
Vick, who signed last week, isn't eligible to play until next week.
"I'm glad he's on our team. He's a great person, a great player, he's only going to make us better," safety Quintin Demps said.
Four of the five projected starters on Philly's offensive line sat out. Running back Brian Westbrook stayed home, and starting fullback Leonard Weaver left in the first quarter with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee.
The Eagles were also missing three defensive starters, and it showed.
At times, coach Andy Reid looked exasperated with the mistakes.
Philadelphia had six penalties accepted in each half. They squandered a scoring chance at the end of the first half by mismanaging the clock and failed to convert a fourth-and-1 in the third quarter.
"All in all, that was an embarrassing performance and way too many penalties, not enough intensity all the way around, starting with me," Reid said. "It was a poor performance."
Manning opened the game with a 12-play, 71-yard drive and beat a Philly blitz to hit Anthony Gonzalez in the corner of the end zone for a 3-yard TD.
Manning took advantage right away, finding Wayne down the left sideline on the next play. Wayne scooted down the sideline, then made a nifty inside cut near the 10-yard line to avoid a defender for a 76-yard TD to give Indy a 14-0 lead.
The Colts made it 17-7 when Shane Andrus made a 24-yard field goal late in the first half and added two more field goals by Andrus in the second half.
Philadelphia didn't score again until Adam DiMichele hooked up with Brandon Gibson on a 21-yard TD pass with 26 seconds to go.
"I don't think anybody offensively was really happy with what happened last week. It started with me and the entire offensive starting unit," Manning said. "Overall I thought everybody came back and did a better job tonight."
Manning was presented with his third MVP trophy at halftime. ... McNabb was 5 of 7 for 77 yards with one touchdown. ... There were no protests outside the stadium regarding Vick, though a few fans brought in signs to express concerns about last week's signing. ... Colts S Matt Giordano left with a groin injury, RB Mike Hart hurt his ankle and RB Chad Simpson departed with a left shoulder injury. ... Philadelphia CB Ellis Hobbs injured his left ankle.
A player the Colts did not want to have to use has saved the season, and might save the jobs of the people calling the shots.
Rob Gronkowski was carted off the field after suffering an apparent injury to his right leg Sunday. It could prove to be the most crippling injury to the injury-plagued Patriots.
Todd Bowles denied that Quinton Coples' behavior on the plane trip home after a tough loss to Houston sparked the team's move to cut him.
Quarterback wasn't looking for style points when he took off for his 8-yard score against the 49ers.
Markus Wheaton's 201 receiving yards landed him on the list of players who were "up" in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks.
During his postgame news conference, Rams coach Jeff Fisher says critics implying there is an effort issue on his team are way off base.