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Friday, May 6, 2016

Colts use big second half to beat Broncos

Monday, October 1, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts took Denver's best shot Sunday, and the Broncos couldn't knock out the defending champions.

Indianapolis (4-0) relied on flawless execution to score on six of its last eight possessions in a 38-20 victory, adding yet another anguishing chapter to the Broncos recent rivalry with Indy.

The Colts have now won five of seven in the series since Tony Dungy took over as coach and extended their league-best winning streak to nine when counting last year's playoff games.

Despite overpowering the Colts with its usually efficient ground game in the first half, Denver (2-2) lost for the second straight week.

For a while, it appeared the Broncos had a winning combination, but the Colts' one-two punch of Peyton Manning and Joseph Addai ruined everything.

Manning methodically rallied the Colts from a 10-0 first-quarter deficit, and Joseph Addai helped Indy control the ball for much of the second half when Denver struggled to put drives together. Manning finished 20-of-27 for 193 yards and threw three touchdowns, while Addai ran 19 times for 136 yards and one score.

Denver ran for 160 yards in the first half, the best in the NFL this season, and Travis Henry did most of the damage carrying 26 times for 131 yards.

And the Colts also were using a patchwork cast. Eight-time Pro Bowl receiver Marvin Harrison left in the second quarter with a bruised left knee, and outsider linebacker Rob Morris was carted off the field with a sprained left knee late in the first half.

Addai scored on a 14-yard TD run to make it 10-7, and Manning closed the half with a 9-yard scoring pass to Dallas Clark that gave Indy an improbable 14-13 halftime lead.

It didn't take Manning long to seize control in the second half, either.

He used a rare quarterback sneak to make it 21-13 and, after Marlin Jackson intercepted Jay Cutler, Manning hooked up with Clark on a 3-yard TD pass in the corner of the end zone to make it 28-13.

Cutler countered with his own 2-yard TD run, but that was a speed bump for the Colts.

Manning threw his third TD pass on the next series, a 5-yarder to Reggie Wayne with 10:56 left, and put the game away when Adam Vinatieri made a 22-yard field goal with 2:34 left.

The Colts weren't the only ones hurting afterward.

Henry left the game briefly with a sprained right ankle, and Denver defensive tackle Marcus Thomas bruised his right knee.


Indianapolis tied a franchise record with its 11th straight home victory. ... Denver kicker Jason Elam scored eight points to pass Jan Stenerud for eighth on the career scoring list. Stenerud finished with 1,699. Elam now has 1,702. ... The last time Cutler played in the RCA Dome, he caught the winning touchdown pass in Indiana's Class 3A state championship on a flea flicker.

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