Manning leads Colts past Dolphins 27-23Sep 22, 2009 - 11:19 AM By STEVEN WINE AP Sports Writer
MIAMI(AP) -- Peyton Manning spent most of the night on the sideline and just enough time reaching the end zone.
The Indianapolis Colts had the ball for less than 15 minutes, but Manning made the most of his chances, helping his team come from behind four times to beat the Miami Dolphins 27-23 Monday night.
Manning threw touchdown passes of 80 yards to Dallas Clark and 48 yards to Pierre Garcon. The first came score on the first play from scrimmage, the latter with 3:18 left for the game's final points.
"It was about being efficient when it counted, in the fourth quarter," Manning said. "That's really what the game's about."
While the Miami Dolphins' celebrities were making a Hollywood-style grand entrance, Manning slipped in a side door and stole the show.
The Dolphins rolled out an orange carpet for the pregame arrival of new owner Stephen Ross' celebrity partners. The crowd included Serena and Venus Williams, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Buffett and Colts rooter Tiger Woods.
But Manning was the big star. He finished 14 for 23 for 303 yards, and the Colts improved to 2-0. The Dolphins fell to 0-2 even though they had 239 yards rushing, including 107 with the wildcat.
The Colts had the ball for only 14:53, the lowest time of possession for a winning team in the NFL since 1977. They ran 35 plays to 84 for the Dolphins.
"It's really disheartening," Miami coach Tony Sparano said. "That's exactly the formula to beat that team."
Indy trailed 10-7, 13-10 and 20-13, but each time pulled even. Down 23-20 after Miami scored with 3:50 left, the Colts rallied one more time with a big play by Garcon.
"Pierre was patient," Manning said. "He was more talkative than he had been all game, saying, 'I can beat him. I can beat him.' Of course we didn't get many possessions, but he came up big when we really needed him."
After completions of 15 and 17 yards, Manning hit Garcon with a short pass on the right side. Garcon cut to the middle, then broke back toward to the corner of the end zone to score.
Miami reached the Colts 30-yard line with 6 seconds left, but Chad Pennington's desperation pass was intercepted in the end zone by Antoine Bethea.
"Give credit to our defense," Clark said. "They were out there for probably 100 plays, and for that last drive I know they were tired. For them to come up with those plays and keep them from scoring was just tremendous effort."
Bethea's interception was the Dolphins' lone turnover. They were 15 for 21 on third-down conversions, punted once and controlled the ball for a team-record 45 minutes. They had to wonder how they lost.
The answer: Manning. He earned his 119th victory with the Colts, breaking the team record for a quarterback he shared with Johnny Unitas.
"I don't feel comfortable with these comparisons to Unitas," Manning said. "But I'm very proud to wear the same uniform as Johnny Unitas. He was a real winner."
Miami's Ronnie Brown rushed for 136 yards, including 62 in the wildcat, taking a direct snap each time. Teammate Ricky Williams added 69 yards rushing.
Against Manning, it wasn't enough.
"To have as few plays as he did and to do what he did, you just don't see that," Pennington said.
Manning took only three snaps in the third quarter, and the Colts had just three possessions after halftime.
"You just feel like you didn't really letter in the second half," Manning said.
The Dolphins controlled the ball for nearly nine minutes on an 80-yard touchdown drive that put them ahead 20-13 early in the final quarter.
Indy quickly pulled even again. Manning hit Clark for 49 yards to set up a 15-yard scoring run by Donald Brown. Clark had seven catches for a career-high 183 yards.
Miami drove 51 yards and broke a 20-all tie with Dan Carpenter's 45-yard field goal with 3:50 left. He made two other field goals but also missed from 49, which kept the Dolphins from trying a game-winning kick in the final seconds.
"That's one of the strangest losses I've ever been part of," Wilson said. "For us to come up short was very heartbreaking."
Notes: Manning's first pass was his longest completion since 2005. ... The highest previous time of possession in the Dolphins' record book was 43:39 against the Jets on Dec. 7, 1987.
- ** CONFIRMED **
MIAMI 23 FINAL
Colts 27, Dolphins 23 FinalSep 22 12:00 AM
MIAMI 25 0:06 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Colts 27, Dolphins 25 4th - 0:06Sep 21 10:38 PM
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
INDIANAPOLIS 7 6 0 14 27
MIAMI 7 6 0 10 23 FINAL
1ST QUARTER: IND - TD, DALLAS CLARK 80 YD PASS FROM
PEYTON MANNING (ADAM
VINATIERI KICK), 0:12.
MIA - TD, RONNIE BROWN 14 YD RUN (DAN
CARPENTER KICK), 6:18. MIAMI
Sep 21 10:34 PM
MIAMI 23 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Sep 21 10:34 PM
MIAMI 23 3:18 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Colts 27, Dolphins 23 4th - 3:18Sep 21 10:19 PM
MIAMI 23 3:50 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Colts 20, Dolphins 23 4th - 3:50Sep 21 10:11 PM
MIAMI 20 10:06 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Colts 20, Dolphins 20 4th - 10:06Sep 21 9:57 PM
MIAMI 20 13:23 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Colts 13, Dolphins 20 4th - 13:23Sep 21 9:48 PM
MIAMI 13 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR
Sep 21 9:43 PM
MIAMI 13 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Colts 13, Dolphins 13 HalfSep 21 9:05 PM
MIAMI 13 0:43 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Colts 10, Dolphins 13 2nd - 0:43Sep 21 8:56 PM
MIAMI 10 9:20 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Colts 10, Dolphins 10 2nd - 9:20Sep 21 8:31 PM
MIAMI 10 13:26 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Colts 7, Dolphins 10 2nd - 13:26Sep 21 8:15 PM
MIAMI 7 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR
Sep 21 8:09 PM
MIAMI 7 8:42 LEFT, 1ST QTR
Colts 7, Dolphins 7 1st - 8:42Sep 21 7:52 PM
MIAMI 0 14:48 LEFT, 1ST QTR
Colts 7, Dolphins 0 1st - 14:48Sep 21 7:43 PM
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