San Francisco at Indianapolis

Colts' regular-season streak at 16 after victory over 49ers

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis' 16th straight regular-season victory will fit neatly into the Colts' record book.

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This week's game tapes will show the Colts how imperfect they really are.

With Peyton Manning out of sync and the offense struggling to score touchdowns Sunday, the Colts turned to a former quarterback -- Joseph Addai -- for a 22-yard TD pass that gave Indy an 18-14 victory over San Francisco and its own version of a perfect regular season.

"We need these games if we're going to push toward our goal, which is the Super Bowl," receiver Reggie Wayne said. "We're going to need these close games, we're going to need to fight through a little adversity and push forward. We were able to do that today. It was a grinder. We figured out a way to win."

Clearly, there's plenty of work to do after Sunday's sluggish offensive performance -- despite all the accolades.

Jim Caldwell became the first rookie coach since the 1970 merger to win his first seven NFL games. Indy extended its franchise record and became the eighth team in league history with 16 straight wins. The Colts are now the last undefeated team in the AFC again, the fourth time in five years.

But this was not typical Indy.

While Manning finished 31 of 48 for 347 yards, he missed high, wide and even short, failing to match the incredible efficiency he had in Indy's first six games. The three-time MVP also failed to throw a TD pass for the first time since Nov. 30, 2008, leaving that job to Addai, the high school All-American quarterback.

It was Addai's first TD pass as a pro and the first by a Colts non-quarterback since Ken Dilger threw one in 2001. The result was perfect: Wayne lunging toward the end line, getting both feet on the ground to give Indy its first lead 7 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Wayne had a career-high 12 catches for 147 yards.

"I was just trying to get the ball out there," Addai said. "In practice, I'm just kind of spotting up there, kind of looking, reading my keys. I don't really have a key to read, but I kind of sit back there like a real quarterback."

For San Francisco (3-4), it was another frustrating day.

The 49ers have now lost three straight despite getting a solid performance from Alex Smith in his first start in nearly two years. Smith was 19 of 32 for 198 yards with one TD and one interception. He was sacked four times behind a makeshift offensive line that may have sustained another devastating blow when left tackle Joe Staley went down on the first play of the game. The 49ers are already without right tackle Tony Pashos for the rest of the season.

Yet thanks to Smith's steadiness, Frank Gore's long run and the continual contributions of Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, the 49ers controlled the game for most of three quarters.

It was good enough -- almost.

"A couple dropped balls make the difference in a game like this," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said. "Any missed opportunities in a game like this are going to bite you in the end. The only thing I can say is we came here to win the football game."

The Colts' defense had to keep Indy in the game after allowing Gore to slip through the middle, break two tackles and sprint 64 yards for a score on San Francisco's second series. It was the first TD Indy allowed since Week 4. Gore finished with 13 carries for 91 yards and five receptions for 43 yards.

Manning, meanwhile, settled for field goals.

After the Colts closed to 7-6 early in the second quarter, the 49ers answered with Smith's 8-yard TD pass to Davis with 33 seconds left in the half.

Two problems: They left Manning enough time to move back down the field and Davis' celebration led to a 15-yard penalty that gave the Colts even better field position.

The Colts took advantage. Manning needed three plays to set up Stover for a 31-yard field goal to make it 14-9 at the half, and then Manning opened the second half by taking the Colts 52 yards for Stover's fourth field goal of the day.

That's how it stayed until the Colts pulled out the halfback option.

"I thought we weren't quite as sharp as we have been at times," Manning said. "There's definitely some areas we can improve on."

Even with 16 straight wins.

Notes

  • Singletary said Staley sprained his right knee and cornerback Nate Clements had a bruised right shoulder.
  • Manning had been sacked twice all season coming into Sunday. The 49ers got him three times.
  • Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden left in the third quarter with a knee injury and linebacker Tyjuan Hagler hurt his elbow in the fourth.
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Sun. Nov. 1Final
770014
363618
49ersColts
Pass: A. Smith (19-32, 198) P. Manning (31-48, 347)
Rush: F. Gore (13-91) J. Addai (20-62)
Rec: M. Crabtree (6-81) R. Wayne (12-147)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDFrank Gore, 64 Yd run (Joe Nedney kick is good), 11:16. Drive: 2 plays, 70 yards in 0:46.
FGMatt Stover 38 Yd, 3:16. Drive: 10 plays, 57 yards in 4:40.
2ND QUARTER
FGMatt Stover 33 Yd, 14:50. Drive: 5 plays, 19 yards in 1:17.
TDVernon Davis, 8 Yd pass from Alex Smith (Joe Nedney kick is good), 0:33. Drive: 7 plays, 89 yards in 1:11.
FGMatt Stover 31 Yd, 0:01. Drive: 4 plays, 48 yards in 0:32.
3RD QUARTER
FGMatt Stover 40 Yd, 9:34. Drive: 11 plays, 52 yards in 5:26.
4TH QUARTER
TDReggie Wayne, 22 Yd pass from Joseph Addai (Peyton Manning 2 Pt. Conversion pass to Pierre Garcon failed), 14:53. Drive: 9 plays, 70 yards in 3:10.
Players of the Game
Indianapolis

R. Wayne
Rec 12
Yds 147
Avg 12.2
TD 1
San Francisco

F. Gore
Rush 13
Yds 91
Avg 7.0
TD 1
 
San Francisco
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
A. Smith19/3219811
RushingATTYDSTDLG
F. Gore1391164
A. Smith110010
G. Coffee1808
M. Norris3403
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
M. Crabtree681027
I. Bruce451020
F. Gore543015
V. Davis320110
J. Morgan1303
Indianapolis
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
P. Manning31/4834700
J. Addai1/12210
RushingATTYDSTDLG
J. Addai2062013
C. Simpson1-10-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
R. Wayne12147132
D. Clark899040
A. Collie666023
P. Garcon453032
J. Addai2402
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
ATL 27 Final
NO 35
NYG 17 Final
PHI 40
CAR 34 Final
ARI 21
JAC 13 Final
TEN 30
OAK 16 Final
SD 24
MIA 30 Final
NYJ 25
MIN 38 Final
GB 26
STL 17 Final
DET 10
SEA 17 Final
DAL 38
CLE 6 Final
CHI 30
HOU 31 Final
BUF 10
DEN 7 Final
BAL 30