Manning: A Four-Quarter Dogfight

After a couple of tough wins over AFC teams, Peyton Manning knows that things aren't going to get any easier this week against Houston. See what he had to say about the Texans, why the Colts have been so good in the red zone, his difficulties getting in sync with WR Marvin Harrison and more in his weekly press conference.

On if the team has momentum:

"Somebody asked me if I thought we were turning the corner. I think when you're 5-4, there really aren't any corners out there. We're truly in a one-game-at-a-time mode. That's what we've done the last couple of weeks. It's kind of been somewhat of our motto, and we've had two good wins, two close wins, and that's what you expect again this week. The Baltimore game was the one game where we got a big lead and stayed on them, but (Sunday's game vs. Houston) is going to be a four-quarter dogfight. The past two weeks we've made the plays in the fourth quarter, and they've resulted in the wins. Houston, on defense, is very good. It's a lot better than their record is showing for. They've had some turnovers on offense, which have put their defense in a tough position. They played well against us last time. Hopefully, we can keep finding a way to win the game, that's all we're trying to do at this point."

On QB-Sage Rosenfels committing three turnovers in the last four minutes in the first meeting between the two teams:

"It's one of those things where you make the play and they say, ‘That's what he had to do, he had to make a play.' When you don't make it they say, ‘That was wrong to do.' That's part of playing quarterback. But, we were fortunate to win that game, there's no question about it. Our defense made some great plays there in the fourth quarter. Offensively, we capitalized on our defense setting us up and were able to come back and win that game, but there's no question we were fortunate."

On what makes the offense so good in the red zone:

"It's hard to pinpoint what it is, but whatever it is we want to try to keep doing it. It's really been good when our defense has created the turnover for us and we've been able to capitalize on that. That can be really deflating to another team. I know on offense when we've had a turnover, right away you say, ‘Hey, defense, hold them, make it go away.' When you see the other offense score off that, it is a deflating moment, so that's been big. We've been feeding off the defense getting us that good field position and putting it in the end zone. It's been pretty good execution. We've made a few plays, and (Offensive Coordinator) Tom (Moore) has made some good calls down there. It's something we work on a lot, there's no question. We've always emphasized the red zone, and the past few years especially, because we've been down there more than most teams in the past. We probably haven't been down there as much as we'd like this year, but when we get down in there it's been a real emphasis to try to score touchdowns. Hopefully, we can keep that going."

On having so many people to throw to in the red zone:

"That certainly helps. A lot of teams down there in the red zone will play combination coverages. They'll pick two guys to double team, ‘We're going to double team (WR) Marvin (Harrison) and (TE) Dallas (Clark),' or ‘(WR) Reggie (Wayne) and (WR-Anthony) Gonzalez.' You can't double team everybody, so there is single coverage somewhere. As a quarterback, you try to find that matchup. Maybe it's (RB-Joseph) Addai out of the backfield. That certainly helps. We have been spreading it around down there. It's been different guys showing up and making a play, which has been nice."

On if he sees any difference with WR-Marvin Harrison:

"No. I really don't have a whole lot to say about that. We're all fighting. Every time you throw an incompletion everybody wants to know, ‘What's wrong? How can that possibly happen?' I'm trying to make good throws, and every time I throw an incompletion I always look to see if I could have made a better throw or not. Everybody's making a big deal about the game (Sunday) night. I thought I could have made some better throws in that game. Some of those should have been in-stride catches with a better ball, so I think everybody's overreacting a little bit about all that."

On if Harrison looks like the same player:

"Yes. He's in unbelievable shape for a player that's been playing as long as he has. He comes to practice and practices as hard as he can every single day. It's a real credit to him. He's always been a great professional that way. He's still getting open. When he's open, it's my job to get the ball to him and hit him, so I need to do a better job of that."

On the incompletion to Harrison across the middle:

"I didn't get a great look at that. It was disappointing on my part, he was so wide open. Believe it or not, sometimes those are the harder throws. Sometimes, I'd rather he or (WR) Reggie (Wayne) be blanketed by a guy so I know I have to put it in this spot. Believe it or not, when a guy's wide open, it's like that layup in basketball that sometimes can be hard to hit. I threw it up probably a little quicker than I wanted to and just put it in an awkward spot. I didn't see it as anything more than a throw that could have been a little bit better."


Colts Blitz Top Stories