Final

Colts 31

(5-0, 3-0 away)

Titans 9

(0-5, 0-2 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, October 11, 2009

LP Field, Nashville, TN 

1 2 3 4 T
IND 7 14 7 331
TEN 6 3 0 09

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 309 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: L. White (TEN) - 10 CAR, 51 YDS

Receiving: A. Collie (IND) - 8 REC, 97 YDS, 2 TD

Manning throws for 309 yards, three TDs as Colts keep Titans winless

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Peyton Manning isn't one to check off his latest achievements, especially not during the season.

Good thing. They're piling up almost as quickly as victories for Manning and his Colts.

Manning's near-perfect start to the season continued Sunday night as he had 309 yards passing and three touchdown passes, and the Colts never trailed in beating the AFC South rival Tennessee Titans 31-9 for their NFL-best 14th straight regular-season win.

Kuharsky: Gap Widens

The difference between the rival Colts and Titans widens as the teams head in opposite directions, writes Paul Kuharsky. Blog

• AFC South blog

"It was a great win," Manning said. "This is a tough place to play."

With his performance, Manning joined Kurt Warner and Steve Young as the only NFL quarterbacks to open a season by throwing for at least 300 yards in the first five games. He will have to wait out a bye week to try and match them with a sixth such game.

The lone scare came post game. Manning said he would have to see a doctor for some treatment of the left knee after a hit from Titans end Kyle Vanden Bosch. That's the knee that kept him out of the 2008 preseason and led to a slow start.

Manning also reached another milestone when he threw a first-quarter TD pass, the 343rd of his career. He passed Fran Tarkenton and moved into third by himself, behind only Brett Favre and Dan Marino in that category.

Why Colts won

The Colts beat the Titans thanks to their three-receiver formation. Indy used the Zebra set (3 WR, TE) for 54 of their 67 offensive plays. The Zebra set accounted for 343 of their 367 yards. The Colts used a Tiger set (2 TE, 2 WR) on 12 plays (one play was a goal-line set), but without much success.

Zebra 3WR,1TE Tiger 2WR,2TE
Yards 343 23
Yds/att 6.4 1.9
TD 3 0
1st downs 18 0

-- ESPN Stats & Information

He also became the third quarterback in NFL history to have 70 games with a passer rating of 100 or better, the fourth time he's done it this season. He had a rating of 109.2, and he trails Favre (96) and Tarkenton (74) in that category.

When asked about the latest milestones, Manning credited his teammates with helping make plays in the passing game.

"You try to do what you have to do to win. I've never been about that or try to do that in the middle of the season. At the end of the season, I'll admit that. I'll do that for other people. Like if Reggie Wayne needs five catches, I'll do that," he said.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher has another opinion.

"He's just playing as well now as I think he's ever played in his career," Fisher said.

Indianapolis (5-0) has not lost since its last visit to Nashville and leaves now with a firm grip on the AFC South that the Colts have controlled all but the two seasons Tennessee has won the division.

The Titans? Their winless misery isn't close to ending now that they have matched their 0-5 start in 2006. It got so bad that Fisher put in backup quarterback Vince Young in the fourth quarter.

"We've made our own mess," Fisher said. "We have to find our way out of it."

The Colts manhandled Tennessee, which started 10-0 last season, with Bob Sanders watching from the sideline along with starting cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden and Marlin Jackson.

The Titans turned in their worst offensive performance this season with 245 yards. Kerry Collins was intercepted in a ball taken away from receiver Nate Washington. Young got a standing ovation from what fans were left when he came in. The change didn't help. Young's first pass was nearly intercepted by a Colts defender -- he was 0 for 3.

Fisher said Collins remains his starter and isn't the problem. Collins wasn't happy at being pulled.

Fast Facts

• Peyton Manning completed 36 of 44 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Manning was a perfect 14 for 14 with 148 yards in the second quarter, and he has passed for 300+ yards in five straight regular season games.

• It's the fourth time this season the Titans have allowed a 300+-yard passer.

• Tennessee has not scored a touchdown in the last eight quarters against Indianapolis dating back to last season and has lost 10 of the last 13 in the series dating back to 2003.

• This was Tennessee's seventh straight loss dating back to last season, including the playoff game against the Ravens.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"It was the circumstances," Collins said.

The game was a mismatch almost from the start with Manning, the three-time MVP, and the NFL's top passing offense against a defense tied for worst in the league against the pass.

The Titans scratched cornerback Cortland Finnegan for his tight right hamstring. When Nick Harper was sidelined in the third quarter with a broken arm. That left the Titans with rookies.

Not that it mattered with Manning going to work.

Manning needed only the first of Tennessee's two turnovers to put Indianapolis ahead to stay and notch a bit more history for himself. Antoine Bethea knocked the ball loose from Titans tight end Alge Crumpler, and Keyunta Dawson recovered in the first.

Five plays later, Manning found Reggie Wayne on a 3-yard TD toss that was the 343rd of his career. Manning could have had a fourth TD in the fourth quarter but Wayne dropped a ball in the end zone.

In the second quarter, he completed each of his seven passes for 81 yards. Joseph Addai capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run.

Tennessee got two turnovers in the first quarter off a muffed punt and Keith Bulluck's interception of Manning, which he celebrated in a sign of the Titans' desperation by heaving the ball up into the stands. But the offense managed 6 and 9 yards after each turnover and settled for field goals by Rob Bironas.

The Titans responded with their best drive of the night. But Jacob Lacey, starting in place of Hayden, broke up Collins' pass to Justin Gage in the end zone, and Tennessee had to settle for Bironas' third field goal. Chris Johnson, the NFL's leading rusher, had just 34 yards on nine carries.

"Our defense was able to keep him contained and didn't let him get loose," Colts coach Jim Caldwell said.

Manning needed just 47 seconds to give Indianapolis a 21-9 halftime lead. A 93-yard drive was helped by 30 yards of roughing the passer penalties. Vanden Bosch was flagged for grabbing Manning's legs after a throw, and Jacob Ford was called for a late hit on the quarterback.

Manning finished with a 39-yard TD toss to Austin Collie, and he found him in the third for a 6-yard TD.

Game notes


The Colts are 63-7 when Manning has a passer rating of 100 or better. ... Wayne had his third straight game with a TD catch. ... Titans tight end Craig Stevens was having tests for a concussion suffered on the opening kickoff of the game when he crashed helmets with teammate Michael Griffin.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
IND
TEN
1st Downs2312
Passing 1st downs
149
Rushing 1st downs
52
1st downs from penalties
41
3rd down efficiency
8-145-14
4th down efficiency
1-10-1
Total Plays6757
Total Yards367245
Yards per play5.54.3
Total Drives1011
Passing309155
Comp-Att
36-4419-35
Yards per pass
7.04.3
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-01-9
Rushing5890
Rushing Attempts
2321
Yards per rush
2.54.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-40-0
Penalties7-489-89
Turnovers22
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession33:3826:22

Passing Leaders

INDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning36/443097.0310-0
TENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Collins19/321645.1011-9
Young0/300.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

INDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Addai14271.916
Brown6223.706
TENCARYDSAVGTDLG
White10515.1011
Johnson9343.808

Receiving Leaders

INDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Collie89712.1239
Clark9778.6024
TENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Scaife44511.3018
Washington33712.3023

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERINDTEN
indTD7:33Reggie Wayne 3 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 23 yds, 1:35
70
tenFG4:25Rob Bironas 49 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 1:31
73
tenFG0:33Rob Bironas 43 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 9 yds, 2:37
76
SECOND QUARTERINDTEN
indTD5:02Joseph Addai 1 Yard Run (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 81 yds, 6:46
146
tenFG1:09Rob Bironas 46 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 52 yds, 3:54
149
indTD0:25Austin Collie 39 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 93 yds, 0:47
219
THIRD QUARTERINDTEN
indTD9:58Austin Collie 6 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 31 yds, 3:46
289
FOURTH QUARTERINDTEN
indFG7:37Adam Vinatieri 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 15 plays, 70 yds, 8:38
319