Colts 27

(2-0, 1-0 away)

Dolphins 23

(0-2, 0-1 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

8:30 PM ET, September 21, 2009

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
IND 7 6 0 1427
MIA 7 6 0 1023

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 303 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: R. Brown (MIA) - 24 CAR, 136 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: D. Clark (IND) - 7 REC, 183 YDS, 1 TD

Manning's TD to Garcon gives Colts final lead to move to 2-0

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Peyton Manning spent most of the night on the sideline and just enough time reaching the end zone.

The Indianapolis Colts had the ball for less than 15 minutes, but Manning made the most of his chances, helping his team come from behind four times to beat the Miami Dolphins 27-23 Monday night.

Manning threw touchdown passes of 80 yards to Dallas Clark and 48 yards to Pierre Garcon. The first came score on the first play from scrimmage, the latter with 3:18 left for the game's final points.

Graham: Quick Work

Peyton Manning didn't need much time to pull victory from the Dolphins' grasp, writes Tim Graham. Blog

• AFC East blog

"It was about being efficient when it counted, in the fourth quarter," Manning said. "That's really what the game's about."

While the Miami Dolphins' celebrities were making a Hollywood-style grand entrance, Manning slipped in a side door and stole the show.

The Dolphins rolled out an orange carpet for the pregame arrival of Ross' celebrity partners. The crowd included Serena and Venus Williams, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Buffett and Colts rooter Tiger Woods.

But Manning was the big star. He finished 14 for 23 for 303 yards, and the Colts improved to 2-0. The Dolphins fell to 0-2 even though they had 239 yards rushing, including 107 with the wildcat.

The Colts had the ball for only 14:53, the lowest time of possession for a winning team in the NFL since 1977. They ran 35 plays to 84 for the Dolphins.

"It's really disheartening," Miami coach Tony Sparano said. "That's exactly the formula to beat that team."

Big-Game Manning

With his fourth-quarter rally against the Miami Dolphins, Peyton Manning climbed within two of Brett Favre on the list of most game-
winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime among active players.

Player Drives
Brett Favre 39
Peyton Manning 37
Kerry Collins 29
Tom Brady 23
Mark Brunell 23

Indy trailed 10-7, 13-10 and 20-13, but each time pulled even. Down 23-20 after Miami scored with 3:50 left, the Colts rallied one more time with a big play by Garcon.

"Pierre was patient," Manning said. "He was more talkative than he had been all game, saying, 'I can beat him. I can beat him.' Of course we didn't get many possessions, but he came up big when we really needed him."

After completions of 15 and 17 yards, Manning hit Garcon with a short pass on the right side. Garcon cut to the middle, then broke back toward to the corner of the end zone to score.

Miami reached the Colts' 30-yard line with 6 seconds left, but Chad Pennington's desperation pass was intercepted in the end zone by Antoine Bethea.

"Give credit to our defense," Clark said. "They were out there for probably 100 plays, and for that last drive I know they were tired. For them to come up with those plays and keep them from scoring was just tremendous effort."

Bethea's interception was the Dolphins' lone turnover. They were 15 for 21 on third-down conversions, punted once and controlled the ball for a team-record 45 minutes. They had to wonder how they lost.

The answer: Manning. He earned his 119th victory with the Colts, breaking the team record for a quarterback he shared with Johnny Unitas.

"I don't feel comfortable with these comparisons to Unitas," Manning said. "But I'm very proud to wear the same uniform as Johnny Unitas. He was a real winner."

Perfect Peyton in 4th

Peyton Manning struggled a bit early in the game, but he had a perfect passer rating in the fourth quarter to lead the Colts to a 27-23 win over the Dolphins.

Manning By Quarter
Quarter 1st-3rd 4th
Cmp-att 8-16 6-7
Yards 166 137
TD 1 1
Passer rtg 107.8 158.3

Miami's Ronnie Brown rushed for 136 yards, including 62 in the wildcat, taking a direct snap each time. Teammate Ricky Williams added 69 yards rushing.

Against Manning, it wasn't enough.

"To have as few plays as he did and to do what he did, you just don't see that," Pennington said.

Manning took only three snaps in the third quarter, and the Colts had just three possessions after halftime.

"You just feel like you didn't really letter in the second half," Manning said.

The Dolphins controlled the ball for nearly nine minutes on an 80-yard touchdown drive that put them ahead 20-13 early in the final quarter.

Indy quickly pulled even again. Manning hit Clark for 49 yards to set up a 15-yard scoring run by Donald Brown. Clark had seven catches for a career-high 183 yards.

Miami drove 51 yards and broke a 20-all tie with Dan Carpenter's 45-yard field goal with 3:50 left. He made two other field goals but also missed from 49, which kept the Dolphins from trying a game-winning kick in the final seconds.

"That's one of the strangest losses I've ever been part of," Wilson said. "For us to come up short was very heartbreaking."

Game notes

Manning's first pass was his longest completion since 2005. ... The highest previous time of possession in the Dolphins' record book was 43:39 against the Jets on Dec. 7, 1987.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1427
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays3584
Total Yards356403
Yards per play10.24.8
Total Drives99
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-12-2
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

indTD15:00Dallas Clark 80 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 80 yds, 0:12
miaTD8:49Ronnie Brown 14 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 75 yds, 6:06
miaFG13:26Dan Carpenter 45 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 53 yds, 7:24
indFG9:20Adam Vinatieri 43 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 48 yds, 4:07
miaFG0:47Dan Carpenter 44 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 33 yds, 2:23
indFG0:02Adam Vinatieri 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 44 yds, 0:43
miaTD13:29Ronnie Brown 3 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 80 yds, 8:45
indTD10:12Donald Brown 15 Yard Run (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 79 yds, 3:17
miaFG3:55Dan Carpenter 45 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 51 yds, 6:16
indTD3:29Pierre Garcon 48 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 80 yds, 0:32
indSF0:06Antoine Bethea 0 Yard Interception Return
Drive info: 15 plays, 52 yds, 3:12