Manning: Everybody Knows The Challenge

Peyton Manning spoke with the media this week about the quick turnaround from Sunday's game, getting back to normal with his pre-game routine, throwing to Dallas Clark and Marvin Harrison, whether he'll play next week against Tennessee if the Colts clinch a playoff spot, and more!

On how the team approaches being able to clinch a playoff spot with a win Thursday at Jacksonville:

"It's the same philosophy. It's a short week, and everybody knows the challenge that brings to the table physically. Obviously, it was a pretty physical game on Sunday (vs. Detroit). Mentally we're just trying to get prepared for, still for us kind of an unfamiliar opponent for our offense at least, because they have a different defensive coordinator, so a lot of film to watch in a short period of time. But, both teams have the short week and going down there playing a team that beat us earlier in the season, it will be a tough place to play."

On if this week is more difficult mentally or physically:

"I think it's both. Obviously it kind of depends on what position you play. Certainly for (RB) Dominic (Rhodes) and the offensive line, the defensive line, those guys really banged around. We had (67) plays on offense on Sunday, so for those guys to get recovered in time to play a Thursday night game on the road…We did it last year. We did it four years ago. We've always gone on the road every single time, so we feel like we have a pretty good idea of what the schedule is, but it's always a challenge."

On this season not being as easy as previous seasons:

"It would be hard to say it's ever been easy, but it truly has been a grind, I would agree with that. From the very get go, the games we've lost have been tough and the games we've won have been tough. That's what we expect this week, a tough game that goes down to the fourth quarter. We need to play a little bit sharper than we did on Sunday going on the road down there playing a team that it's always a close game when we play them. It usually goes down to the fourth quarter, so that's what we're expecting going in."

On if this is TE-Dallas Clark's best season:

"He's been solid. He's been really consistent. He's a tough guy. Physically, he's sore every single week, but he always answers the bell on Sunday. I think Sunday's game was a perfect example of what he can do. He can hurt you with the short route, he can take the three-yard screen pass and turn it into 12 yards. The back shoulder catch on the seam route on that last series was just an outstanding catch, and then the one-handed catch on the out route was outstanding. He's always been a matchup problem for teams, whether it's a linebacker or a safety or even a nickel back, he can run and get open. It's a credit to his versatility."

On if he has changed his pre-game routine:

"The only time I didn't do it was that first game against the Bears. I had a different routine I was supposed to do. Then, at Minnesota because I really hadn't been there before, we started back doing it. It is kind of back to the normal routine. (WR) Marvin (Harrison) has been throwing with us since the Houston game (on Nov. 16), so it does feel more like normal. We start at the same time, two hours before kickoff, and are back to the same number of throws, so it feels a lot better doing it now than when the season first started."

On if he is playing underweight:

"I'm back to my normal weight. I definitely lost some weight after the surgery, but after that I'm back to 228, 230."

On what his weight was down to:

"About 220. It was my appetite I think and probably some of the medication."

On if he would play vs. Tennessee next week if the Colts clinch a playoff berth this week but he doesn't get to 4,000 passing yards for the season:

"That's not something we've ever played to or thought about. Last year against Tennessee, I personally was trying to help (WR) Reggie (Wayne), but that wasn't something that came from anybody else. I guess when they give me a little freedom to call some of my own plays, they have to be prepared for something like that to happen. For me personally, I've never played that card in the last week of the season. The main thing is to try to get a win this week. That's one thing we've not done is rely on anybody else during this whole time. We just truly worried about us and tried to take care of ourselves. That is the goal on Thursday, to try to do whatever we have to do, even against the short week and all that, to try find a way to get a win. That's all I'm thinking about at this point."


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