Colts Turn Over New Leaf

After struggling out of the gate with a 2-2 record, the Indianapolis Colts had plenty of questions heading into Sunday's home showdown with the Baltimore Ravens, owners of the NFL's top defense. But it was the Colts' defense that shined, forcing five Baltimore turnovers as Indianapolis routed the Ravens, 31-3.

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis offense did their part as well, as Manning completed 19-of-28 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns for a 134.7 passer rating.

But the offense has shown flashes of its usual efficiency this season. The real coming-out party was for the much-maligned Indianapolis defense, which came into the game dead last in the NFL against the rush.


Marvin Harrison may have silenced his critics with two touchdowns Sunday
AP Photo/Tom Strattman

On this day, however, the Colts allowed the Ravens just 51 yards on 19 attempts, a paltry average of 2.7 yards per rush.

The rout was on early, as Manning hit Marvin Harrison down the right sideline for a 67-yard touchdown pass just five minutes, 17 seconds into the game.

After a Baltimore punt, Manning took the Colts back down the field again, culminating in a 22-yard scoring strike to Reggie Wayne. Adam Vinatieri tacked on a field goal later in the first quarter and the Colts were out to an early lead at 17-0.

Manning and Harrison hooked up again for another touchdown just before halftime and the two teams went into the locker room with the Colts dominating the scoreboard, 24-0.

Dominic Rhodes, who had 73 yards on 25 carries after both Joseph Addai and Mike Hart left the game with injuries, tacked on another touchdown to start the second half, and the Ravens could manage no more than a field goal.

Antoine Bethea, Melvin Bullitt and Tim Jennings all had interceptions for the Colts, and Freddy Keiaho and Robert Mathis recovered fumbles.

It was part of a monster day for Mathis, who had six tackles, including three sacks, and forced a fumble as the Colts got their first win in Lucas Oil Stadium. Jennings, who was starting in place of injured cornerback Kelvin Hayden, led the defense with 10 tackles.

Wayne led the receiving corps with eight catches for 118 yards, while Harrison had three receptions for 83 yards. Anthony Gonzalez caught four balls for 33 yards.

The Colts, who moved over the .500 mark for the first time this season with a 3-2 record, travel to Green Bay next Sunday.


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