Manning evaluates first game back

Peyton Manning and the Colts didn't play too well in the season opener, but the quarterback took a long look at the tape to learn from his first game back since last year's playoffs.

Peyton Manning is often his own worst critic.

He's a perfectionist. And he can't abide mistakes, whether they're his own or anybody else on the Indianapolis Colts' offensive unit.

So it doesn't come as any surprise that Manning took a long, hard look at the game tape from last week's 29-13 loss to Chicago as he began preparations for Sunday's road trip to Minnesota. And he understands that there's plenty of room for improvement.

"I think that anytime you lose a game, everybody needs to step up their level of play. Offensively, we have to find a way to score some more points. Thirteen points is certainly not enough and I really feel like (the offense) spotted Chicago 16 (points)," Manning said this week.

"We gave them a fumble for a touchdown, gave them a safety and then that fourth-and-one, getting stopped put our defense on the short field. Really, our defense, the way I look at it, held (the Bears) to 13 (points). So we have to find a way to score more points than that. That's one thing we can improve on."

As for his own performance against Chicago, there's more work to do there as well.

"I didn't have much to compare Sunday's game to. It's not like I had a choice of whether I played in the preseason or not. It wasn't one of these, ‘I'm not going to play because I want to rest my legs.' It was a pretty good accomplishment in itself the fact that I was able to get out there and play," Manning began.

"It went somewhat like I thought it would. I thought it would take me a quarter-and-a-half to two quarters to get out there and play. It went somewhat like I thought it would. I thought it would take me a quarter-and-a-half to two quarters to get hit and get a little bit of feel (for the game) going. I felt like I did (get a feel for the game) after that first drive of the second half where we had a touchdown. And then the next thing you know, we had the fumble for the touchdown and the fourth-and-one and the game was somewhat out of reach by that point."

Now that the Bears game is behind them, it's on to Minneapolis.

"The key is just how we respond to (the Chicago loss). Sixteen teams are 0-1 right now. Hopefully, we can be one of the ones that handle it the right way and has a good week of practice. There are obviously some things we need to improve on," Manning said.

"I think our biggest goal is everybody's focused on doing their job better. That collectively should hopefully result in better overall team play. So that's the focus. We need to have a really good week of practice and preparation. We have a real tough challenge going on the road to Minnesota."

The Colts will certainly have their work cut out for them on Sunday.

"They really have good (defensive) players. They have excellent players. They're really solid up front and they're tough to run the ball against. The linebackers are all physical and the secondary is active. They're fast. You just don't see any weaknesses," the Indianapolis quarterback said.

"They're well coached. (Former Colts defensive assistant and current Vikings defensive coordinator) Leslie Frazier is an excellent football coach. They are sound in what they do. If they don't give up that punt return (for a touchdown against the Packers Monday night), they probably have a chance to beat Green Bay. They'll be disappointed going 0-1. We're disappointed. I think you'll see two somewhat angry teams on Sunday. It'll be a physical game."

SERIES HISTORY: 22nd meeting. Colts lead series, 13-7-1. The Colts also won the only postseason meeting between the two franchises, taking a 24-14 decision in the NFL Western Conference championship game on Dec. 22, 1968. Indianapolis has won the last two meetings, 31-28 on Nov. 8, 2004 as former Colts PK Mike Vanderjagt booted a 35-yard field goal with 0:02 remaining in the game; and 31-10 on Dec. 24, 2000. Prior to that, though, the Colts had lost five straight meetings to Minnesota from 1969 to 1988. The Colts and Vikings used to meet annually from 1961 to 1966 and once a year from 1967 to 1969. The two franchises have met only six times since the 1970 NFL merger (1971, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2000, and 2004). The Colts are 10-0 against Minnesota in home games and are 4-7-1, including postseason, on the road against the Vikings. The last regular-season game between Indianapolis and Minnesota at the Metrodome was on Dec. 21, 1997 with the Vikings producing a 39-28 victory. The home team has won the last seven meetings between the two franchises.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 — The Colts are 7-1 against NFC competition dating back to the 2004 season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't think it's an advantage for us. But it's certainly a disadvantage for (Minnesota) having to travel, play late, get back early Tuesday morning. They have a day less preparation than us. I think we have our normal (practice) routine. I guess if you looked at it being a disadvantage for them, I guess that's an advantage for us. I don't know." — Colts coach Tony Dungy, on the Minnesota Vikings coming off a late Monday night game with the Green Bay Packers.


  • C Jeff Saturday (knee) practiced again on Thursday but no decision on his availability for Sunday's game has been announced. Saturday said that he felt fine after Wednesday's workout and had a little soreness in his knee, but that was to be expected.

  • TE Dallas Clark did not practice Wednesday, but his availability for Sunday's game at Minnesota won't be determined until later in the week. Clark suffered an injured right knee in the first half of last week's loss to the Chicago Bears. He underwent an MRI Monday but the tests were negative. If Clark is unable to play against the Vikings, rookie TE Jacob Tamme would most likely make his first NFL start. Tamme had a strong preseason and has been dubbed "Dallas Jr." by some pundits who compare his playing style to that of Clark's.

  • Another rookie TE, Tom Santi, is expected to be available for the Minnesota game. Santi missed most of training camp as he recovered from pre-training camp surgery for an infected bursa sac in his knee. Santi has practiced the last couple of weeks but was inactive for the Chicago game.

  • DE Raheem Brock, who played inside as a defensive tackle for the last two seasons, may make the move back again. With the recent arrest of starter Ed Johnson, Brock — who started opposite Dwight Freeney against the Bears last week — may go back to tackle with DE Robert Mathis moving back into the starting lineup.

  • Viking Update Top Stories