Peyton, Colts cruise to 'Manning Bowl' victory

Posted Sept. 19, 2010 @ 11:57 p.m.
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By Barry Wilner, AP Football Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Big brother Peyton showed little bro' Eli who rules America's first family of quarterbacks.

Manning Matchup II was no contest.

Four-time league MVP Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a surprisingly easy 38-14 victory over his kid brother and the New York Giants. He didn't need to do all that much Sunday night thanks to the way Indy's running backs, offensive line and defense gouged the Giants (1-1).

One week after a distressingly lopsided loss at Houston, the Colts (1-1) looked like defending AFC champions. They made Eli Manning and his team resemble amateurs, forcing two quarterback fumbles that gave Indianapolis 14 points.

Four years ago, in the first meeting of sibling NFL quarterbacks, Peyton's Colts won 26-21 at the Meadowlands. Five months later, he guided Indy to the Super Bowl title.

A year later, it was Eli matching that championship, leading the Giants to one of the NFL's biggest upsets over undefeated New England.

The brothers even have grabbed the spotlight away from the field with a series of commercials, including one in which Eli locks Peyton in a closet before heading to the stadium. Maybe he should have used that strategy Sunday night.

The Mannings chatted during pregame warmups and met at midfield for the coin toss, twice shaking hands, but otherwise they could have been total strangers. There were no signs of Peyton wincing on the sideline - or father Archie cringing in the stands - while Eli was being pummeled.

Peyton declined to be interviewed by national TV after the game. Eli was hugged by both parents after the loss.

Indy was unrelenting on the pass rush, unnerving the younger Manning and forcing a fumble on Robert Mathis' sack late in the second quarter. That's not the kind of break you give the Colts, and big brother threw for 43 yards on a TD drive that ended with Austin Collie's 3-yard reception with 9 seconds left in the half. That made it 24-0.

Eli nearly was sacked on the first play of the second half, but then showed some resilience by taking New York 87 yards for its first score. He hit Mario Manningham for a 54-yard touchdown against a blitz.

But Dwight Freeney sacked the New York QB on the next series, and Fili Moala rolled into the end zone with the loose ball. Giants coach Tom Coughlin just shook his head in frustration while Eli Manning dejectedly trudged to the sideline.

Freeney and Mathis each had two sacks.

''We go into every game thinking this is what it is going to be,'' Freeney said. ''I think as a player you have to think that way, that we are going to shut these guys down. It doesn't happen every week, obviously ... it's not surprising.''

It clearly wasn't just Peyton over Eli that decided this ballyhooed Week 2 game, however. Indy's ability to run over the Giants was just as crucial.

Joseph Addai, who gained 44 yards at Houston, nearly doubled that in the first half with 80 yards rushing. Donald Brown added 44, and by game's end they accumulated 156.

They keyed an 80-yard drive to open things, getting 33 yards on seven carries, with Brown surging through a huge hole on the left side for his 7-yard TD.

Indianapolis never backed off as Addai and Brown alternated dominating New York's defense, particularly on a 98-yard march capped by Peyton Manning's perfect lob throw to Dallas Clark. It was their 43rd TD connection, tying for second all time with Sonny Jurgensen and Jerry Smith for quarterback to tight end scores.

The Colts were weak against the run last week, surrendering 257 yards overall, 231 to Houston's Arian Foster. The Giants have a far more vaunted ground game than the Texans, yet managed only 120, much of it in garbage time.

''Whenever we can have the game go our way, when we score a lot of points, the way our defense is designed, when we get those leads, we make them one dimensional, and it is playing into our hands,'' Freeney said. ''That's playing into my game and I can kind of make some things happen.''

All the while, Eli Manning was looking like a lost younger brother, and he wasn't going to get bailed out by Peyton. He went 3 for 8 for 17 yards in the first half, which included a deep pass into triple coverage that was intercepted by Jerraud Powers. Although he hit the long pass to Manningham in the third quarter and a 31-yard TD to Hakeem Nicks with 1:46 to go, Eli wound up 13 for 24 for 161 yards.

Peyton finished his winning night with a 10-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne with 9:11 remaining. He was 20 for 26 for 255 yards, making him 2-0 in showdowns with Eli.

 

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