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Denver at Indianapolis

Colts break record with 22nd straight win; Marshall sets mark with 21 catches

CBSSports.com wire reports
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INDIANAPOLIS -- After throwing three early touchown passes, then three inexplicable interceptions, Peyton Manning led the Indianapolis Colts on a late TD drive to put Denver away 28-16, breaking NFL records for most consecutive regular-season wins and most wins in a decade, plus wrapping up home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

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"I thought Denver made some plays, and we had some bad luck with bouncing balls there," Manning said. "We kind of weathered the storm, and the defense did a great job. So it was kind of two different games in terms of momentum, but fortunately we finished on a high note."

So high it's previously unreached by any NFL team.

It was quite a day in Indy, which celebrated its 22nd consecutive win. The Colts broke a tie with New England, which set the mark last year, and became the seventh team in league history to start 13-0, including this year's New Orleans Saints. Indy also was 13-0 in 2005 before losing three of the last four, including a divisional-round playoff game to Pittsburgh.

Indy's 114th victory of the decade broke a tie with the 1990s San Francisco 49ers. The Colts also set a franchise record with their 13th consecutive home win.

"It does [feel good]," linebacker Clint Session said of the records. "I'm a part of history right now, so it feels real good. It's something we can tell our kids and grandkids that we did something no one else had done. It's definitely a great accomplishment."

Denver (8-5) also had a record day. Receiver Brandon Marshall broke the league's single-game record with 21 receptions. He finished with 200 yards and two touchdowns, tying the reception record on a 5-yard TD catch with 9:44 left in the game to make it 21-16, and breaking the record on the Broncos' final play.

"I went to my receiving coach [Adam Gase] before the game and I told him, 'I think this is going to be the best game I've ever played.' Just because of the environment, the situation of playing the Colts," Marshall said. "I believe big players step up in big games, and this was a big game for us."

But Manning, who was 20 or 42 for 220 yards, answered Marshall's fourth-quarter score by hooking up with Dallas Clark on a 1-yard, game-sealing TD catch -- his third score of the game -- with 2:25 to go.

Manning led Indianapolis to touchdowns on three of its first four drives, then somehow lost his touch. After completing 10 of 16 throws in the first quarter, Manning went just 6 of 22 over the next two-plus quarters, once missing nine of 10 passes while throwing all three interceptions. He hadn't throw as many picks in a game since having a career-high six at San Diego in November 2007.

Yet the Colts continually found ways to prevent Denver from taking the lead. They've been finding ways to win since an Oct. 27, 2008, loss at Tennessee.

"Well, we did recognize it in the locker room. When you go 22 in a row, that's difficult to do," said Jim Caldwell, who took over as coach from the retired Tony Dungy and has the best record for a rookie coach in NFL history. "It's built on the shoulders of several guys who aren't even in that locker room, Tony included."

Dungy, now an analyst for NBC's Football Night in America, added:

"When I first got into coaching, Coach [Chuck] Noll used to talk about three-game winning streaks being hard to do. So 22 straight is something that you think you will never see. It's a great credit to the entire organization and to the consistency of the players. I am proud to have been a part of it."

Indy wasted no time in taking charge.

Manning opened with a 5-yard TD pass to Austin Collie, ending a time-consuming 80-yard drive. After a Denver three-and-out, Manning connected with Clark for a 10-yard score to make it 14-0.

Manning followed that with a 71-yard drive that ended with Clark catching a 1-yard TD pass to make it 21-0.

Easy, right? Wrong.

Denver ditched the running game and put the ball in Kyle Orton's hands. And Marshall's.

Orton went to Marshall on six of the next 12 plays, finally hooking up for a 4-yard score to make it 21-7 at the half.

But with Manning struggling, Denver challenged. The Broncos got a 28-yard field goal from Matt Prater early in the fourth quarter to make it 21-10, and Marshall tied the receptions record to make it 21-16.

When Indy stopped the Broncos' 2-point conversion, Manning finally righted things and preserved The Streak.

"When you think about how many we have won these two years, you do take a minute to think about it, and it does kind of hit you -- that's a bunch," he said. "This was a tough team. This was a great mental challenge."

Notes

  • Denver running back Correll Buckhalter and safety Renaldo Hill both injured ankles. Buckhalter did not return.
  • Joseph Addai ran 16 times for 67 yards.
  • Orton was 29 or 41 for 277 yards with two TDs and one interception.
  • Brian Dawkins picked off Manning twice, both on tipped balls.
  • Clark broke his own single-season team records for receptions (82) and yards (902) by a tight end.
  • Manning passed Warren Moon for fourth on the NFL's yards passing list. Moon had 49,325. Manning now has 49,513.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Sun. Dec. 13Final
Denver
(8-5)
070916
1470728
BroncosColts
Pass: K. Orton (29-41, 277) P. Manning (20-42, 220)
Rush: K. Moreno (23-63) J. Addai (16-67)
Rec: B. Marshall (21-200) J. Addai (5-49)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDAustin Collie, 5 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Matt Stover kick is good), 9:06. Drive: 13 plays, 80 yards in 5:54.
TDDallas Clark, 10 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Matt Stover kick is good), 5:04. Drive: 7 plays, 56 yards in 2:24.
2ND QUARTER
TDDallas Clark, 1 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Matt Stover kick is good), 7:58. Drive: 11 plays, 71 yards in 5:03.
TDBrandon Marshall, 5 Yd pass from Kyle Orton (Matt Prater kick is good), 2:23. Drive: 12 plays, 80 yards in 5:35.
3RD QUARTER
None
4TH QUARTER
FGMatt Prater 28 Yd, 14:50. Drive: 5 plays, 14 yards in 1:02.
TDBrandon Marshall, 5 Yd pass from Kyle Orton (Knowshon Moreno Run for 2 Pt. Conversion failed), 9:44. Drive: 11 plays, 68 yards in 4:44.
TDDallas Clark, 1 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Matt Stover kick is good), 2:25. Drive: 14 plays, 80 yards in 7:19.
Players of the Game
Denver

P. Manning
Att 42
Comp 20
Yds 220
TD 4
Chicago

B. Marshall
Rec 21
Yds 200
Avg 9.5
TD 2
 
Denver
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
K. Orton29/4127721
RushingATTYDSTDLG
K. Moreno2363011
C. Buckhalter419010
K. Orton21109
P. Hillis1202
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
B. Marshall21200223
J. Gaffney348020
K. Moreno31308
D. Graham1606
E. Royal1303
Indianapolis
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
P. Manning20/4222043
RushingATTYDSTDLG
J. Addai1667012
M. Hart92809
P. Manning3-30-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Addai549025
D. Clark543322
R. Wayne443020
A. Collie339123
P. Garcon239029
G. Robinson1707
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
ARI 9 Final
SF 24
PHI 45 Final
NYG 38
SD 20 Final
DAL 17
WAS 34 Final
OAK 13
STL 7 Final
TEN 47
NYJ 26 Final
TB 3
CAR 10 Final
NE 20
CIN 10 Final
MIN 30
BUF 16 Final
KC 10
MIA 14 Final
JAC 10
SEA 7 Final
HOU 34
GB 21 Final
CHI 14
DET 3 Final
BAL 48
NO 26 Final
ATL 23
PIT 6 Final
CLE 13