Broncos 16

(8-5, 4-3 away)

Colts 28

(13-0, 7-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 13, 2009

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN 

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 0 7 0 916
IND 14 7 0 728

Top Performers

Passing: K. Orton (DEN) - 277 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: J. Addai (IND) - 16 CAR, 67 YDS

Receiving: B. Marshall (DEN) - 21 REC, 200 YDS, 2 TD

Manning, Colts fortify legacy with 22nd straight regular-season win

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning watched disbelievingly as one pass after another hit the ground Sunday.

Then he demonstrated how an undefeated team survives the perfect storm.

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After throwing three early TDs, then three inexplicable interceptions, Manning led the Colts on a late TD drive to beat Denver 28-16, breaking NFL records for most consecutive regular-season wins (22) and most wins in a decade (114), plus wrapping up home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

"I thought Denver made some plays, and we had some bad luck with bouncing balls there," Manning said. "We kind of weathered the storm, and the defense did a great job. So it was kind of two different games in terms of momentum, but fortunately we finished on a high note."

So high it's previously unreached by any NFL team.

Looking Ahead

The Colts and Saints are each three games away from finishing the NFL regular season undefeated, the latest in a season the NFL has ever had two teams which haven't lost.

Week Colts opp. Saints opp.
15 @Jags Cowboys
16 Jets Bucs
17 @Bills @Panthers

It was quite a day in Indy, which celebrated its 22nd consecutive win. The Colts broke a tie with New England, which set the mark last year, and became the seventh team in league history to start 13-0, including this year's New Orleans Saints. Indy also was 13-0 in 2005 before losing three of the last four, including a divis1onal-round playoff game to Pittsburgh.

Indy's 114th victory of the decade broke a tie with the 1990s San Francisco 49ers and set a franchise record with its 13th consecutive home win.

"It does [feel good]," linebacker Clint Session said of the records. "I'm a part of history right now, so it feels real good. It's something we can tell our kids and grandkids that we did something no one else had done. It's definitely a great accomplish-

Denver (8-5) also had a record day. Receiver Brandon Marshall broke the league's single-game record with 21 receptions. He finished with 200 yards and two touchdowns, tying the reception record on a 5-yard TD catch with 9:44 left in the game to make it 21-16 and broke the record on the Broncos' final play.


Brandon Marshall is the only person in NFL history with 18 or more receptions in one game twice.

NFL History
Year Player Team Opp. Rec.
2009 Brandon Marshall DEN Colts 21
2000 Terrell Owens SF Bears 20
2008 Brandon Marshall DEN Chargers 18
1950 Tom Fears L.A. Rams Packers 18
1980 Clark Gaines NYJ 49ers 17

"I went to my receiving coach [Adam Gase] before the game and I told him, 'I think this is going to be the best game I've ever played.' Just because of the environment, the situation of playing the Colts," Marshall said. "I believe big players step up in big games, and this was a big game for us."

But Manning, who was 20 or 42 for 220 yards, answered Marshall's fourth-quarter score by hooking up with Dallas Clark on a 1-yard game-sealing TD catch -- his third TD of the game -- with 2:25 to go.

This was easily the strangest win in the Colts' streak.

Manning led Indianapolis to touchdowns on three of its first four drives, then somehow lost his touch. After completing 10 of 16 throws in the first quarter, Manning went just 6 of 22 over the next two-plus quarters, once missing nine of 10 passes while throwing all three interceptions. He hadn't throw as many picks in a game since having a career-high six at San Diego in November 2007.

Yet the Colts continually found ways to prevent Denver from taking the lead. They've been finding ways to win since an Oct. 27, 2008 loss at Tennessee.

"Well, we did recognize it in the locker room. When you go 22 in a row, that's difficult to do," said Jim Caldwell, who took over as coach from the retired Tony Dungy and has the best record for a rookie coach in NFL history. "It's built on the shoulders of several guys who aren't even in that locker room, Tony included."

Dungy, now an analyst for NBC's Football Night in America, added:

"When I first got into coaching, Coach Noll used to talk about three-game winning streaks being hard to do. So 22 straight is something that you think you will never see. It's a great credit to the entire organization and to the consistency of the players. I am proud to have been a part of it."

Indy wasted no time in taking charge.

Manning opened with a 5-yard TD pass to Austin Collie, ending a time consuming 80-yard drive. After a Denver three-and-out, Manning connected with Clark for a 10-yard score to make it 14-0.

Fast Facts

• The Colts won their NFL-record 22nd straight regular-season game (breaking the Patriots' record of 21 straight games from 2006-08) and have won an NFL-record 114 games this decade (breaking the 49ers record of 113 wins in the 1990s).

• The Colts clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and improved to 13-0 for the second time in team history (also started 13-0 in 2005).

• The story for the Broncos was Brandon Marshall, who had an NFL-record 21 receptions (breaking Terrell Owens' record of 20 receptions in a game), 200 yards and two TDs. Marshall was targeted 28 times, compared to 13 for the rest of the team.

• Bloggers' wrapups

• Rapid reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Manning followed that with a 71-yard drive that ended with Clark catching a 1-yard TD pass to make it 21-0.

Easy, right? Wrong.

Denver ditched the running game and put the ball in Kyle Orton's hands. And Marshall's.

Orton went to Marshall on six of the next 12 plays, finally hooking up for a 4-yard score to make it 21-7 at the half.

But with Manning struggling, Denver challenged. The Broncos got a 28-yard field goal from Matt Prater early in the fourth quarter to make it 21-10, and Marshall tied the receptions record to make it 21-16.

When Indy stopped the Broncos' 2-point conversion, Manning finally righted things and preserved The Streak.

"When you think about how many we have won these two years, you do take a minute to think about it, and it does kind of hit you -- that's a bunch," he said. "This was a tough team. This was a great mental challenge."

Game notes

Denver running back Correll Buckhalter and safety Renaldo Hill both injured ankles. Buckhalter did not return ... Joseph Addai ran 16 times for 67 yards. ... Orton was 29 or 41 for 277 yards with two TDs and one interception. ... Brian Dawkins picked off Manning twice, both on tipped balls. ... Clark broke his own single-season team tight end records for receptions (82) and yards (902). ... Manning passed Warren Moon for fourth on the NFL's yards passing list. Moon had 49,325. Manning now has 49,513.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2021
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays7470
Total Yards357312
Yards per play4.84.5
Total Drives1313
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-44-4
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

indTD9:11Austin Collie 5 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 80 yds, 5:54
indTD5:08Dallas Clark 10 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 56 yds, 2:24
indTD8:02Dallas Clark 1 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 5:03
denTD2:27Brandon Marshall 5 Yard Pass From Kyle Orton (Matt Prater Kick is Good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yds, 5:35
denFG14:55Matt Prater 28 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 14 yds, 1:02
denTD9:49Brandon Marshall 5 Yard Pass From Kyle Orton (Knowshon Moreno Run For Two-Point Conversion is No Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 68 yds, 4:44
indTD2:29Dallas Clark 1 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 80 yds, 7:19