PASSING OFFENSE: A-plus
QB Peyton Manning had an efficiency rating of 130.5 against Arizona, completing 24-of-35 passes for 379 yards, four touchdowns and one interception (his arm was hit as he threw the ball). Manning completed passes to six different Colts receivers. WR Reggie Wayne had seven catches for 126 yards and one TD. TE Dallas Clark hauled in seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. WR Pierre Garcon added three catches for 64 yards, including a 53-yard TD catch.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus
Indianapolis had just 132 yards rushing in the first two games combined. But the Colts amassed 126 yards in 31 carries against Arizona Sunday night. RB Joseph Addai had 63 yards on 13 carries while rookie RB Donald Brown chipped in with 40 yards in 14 carries. The Colts' running game is improving, but remains a work in progress heading into this week's home matchup with Seattle.
PASS DEFENSE: A
One of the best efforts, pass defense-wise, by the Colts in a while. Indianapolis had its pass rush working all evening long, sacking Arizona QB Kurt Warner four times and intercepting two of his passes. Yes, Warner hit on 30-of-52 passes for 332 yards and a touchdown. Good numbers, to be sure. But he was harassed and battered by the end of the game.
RUSH DEFENSE: A
It's hard to tell whether the Cardinals running game was so bad or that the Indianapolis defense had improved so much after giving up 239 yards six days earlier in a 27-23 win over Miami. The Colts limited Arizona to a scant 24 yards in 12 carries. There was improved play by Indianapolis' defensive line and linebackers against the run. But like the offensive running game, the defensive rush defense remains hopeful of continual improvement.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus
P Pat McAfee averaged 42 yards (38.8 net) on four kicks. His kickoffs have improved since the start of the season. McAfee has been handling the kickoff chores the last two games. PK Adam Vinatieri hit one of two field goal attempts, from 26 yards out, and missed from 32 yards out. PR T.J. Rushing averaged 4.7 yards on three returns. He had one pretty good return called back due to an illegal block. The kickoff coverage unit limited Arizona to a 19.5-yard average. The punt coverage unit kept the Cardinals to a 4.3-yard average.
To be able to play back-to-back road night games, one in Florida and one in Arizona, six days apart is one thing. To be able to get everything done in practice, while also allowing for needed rest from the first road trip, is something else. And then, to top it all off, to win both games is just icing on the cake. Jim Caldwell did a masterful job of having his team refreshed, ready to go and well prepared for the Cardinals game Sunday night.
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