Peyton’s 2 TD passes give Colts 24-0 lead over Giants in Manning Bowl II

By Michael Marot, AP
Sunday, September 19, 2010

Peyton gives Colts 24-0 halftime lead over Giants

INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning reverted to his old form — just in time to beat up on his younger brother Sunday night on national television.

Manning led the Colts on two long first-half touchdown drives Sunday night, throwing a 50-yard TD pass to Dallas Clark and a 3-yard TD pass to Austin Collie, as Indy built a 24-0 halftime lead over the New York Giants.

The only four-time MVP in league history had plenty of time to work Sunday, a major improvement over the season opener when Manning hit the ground 13 times.

He was aided in large part by a suddenly strong ground game. Joseph Addai and Donald Brown ran 23 times for 124 yards and one TD in the first half. Addai’s 80 yards rushing were his most in any game since he had 105 against Houston on Nov. 16, 2008.

And the Giants’ offensive ineptitude only made things worse.

On the first play from scrimmage after Manning connected with Clark for their 43rd career TD connection — tying the second most in league history among quarterback and tight ends — Eli tried to outdo his older brother.

Bad choice.

Eli’s 57-yard throw was deflected by safety Antoine Bethea, went through the hands of Steve Smith and was finally intercepted by Jerraud Powers at the Indy 23. Peyton then took the Colts 42 yards in eight plays to set up Adam Vinatieri for a 38-yard field goal with 5 minutes left in the half.

And Peyton was only warming up. After Robert Mathis stripped the ball on a sack, and Eric Foster recovered, Peyton took found Collie for a 3-yard TD pass with 9 seconds left in the half.

It was that kind of half for the Giants.

While Peyton was a proficient 13 of 18 for 154 yards and two scores, Eli was 3 of 8 for 17 yards with one interception and lost one fumble.

Eli expected it to be better than this.

“It’s my seventh year in this offense now so, it’s been a great week,” he told NBC before kickoff. “It’s been less stressful than the first time when you had five months of press dealing before this game instead of one week. It’s been a little bit more enjoyable for Peyton and I.”

But it was a miserable start for Eli and the Giants, who had only five first downs in the half.

This is the second time the Super Bowl-winning brothers have faced one another during their NFL careers. Peyton won the first matchup 26-21 in 2006, the same season he won the Super Bowl. The brothers shook hands twice at midfield, before and after the coin toss, and exchanged greetings as they arrived on time for the game — unlike the NBC commercial in which Peyton wound up locked in a closet.

Their parents, Archie and Olivia, were expected to watch from a box at Lucas Oil Stadium. The oldest Manning brother, Cooper, did not attend.

Indy played without receiver Anthony Gonzalez (sprained ankle), safety Bob Sanders (torn biceps muscle) and starting linebacker Clint Session (hamstring).

New York also was short-handed. Starting tackle Will Beatty (broken foot), tight end Kevin Boss (concussion) and special teams Chase Blackburn (right knee) were all deactivated for the game.

Indy is 6-1 in its past seven home openers and is trying to avoid its first 0-2 start since 1998 — Peyton’s rookie season.

Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning were all looking for milestone achievements, too. Manning and Wayne needed to hook up for one TD pass to tie John Unitas and Raymond Berry (63) for the second-highest scoring combination in franchise history. The four-time league MVP and Marvin Harrison hold the NFL record with 112 TD passes.

Manning and Clark are tied with Sonny Jurgensen and Jerry Smith (43) for second in league history. Only New England’s Drew Bledsoe and Ben Coates, who had 45, have more.

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