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(Sunday, September 27th)
Final Score: Indianapolis 31, Arizona 10
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning threw for 379 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Indianapolis Colts in a sound 31-10 defeat of the Arizona Cardinals in a matchup of two high-powered offenses at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Manning completed 24-of-35 passes to six different receivers, four of whom caught touchdowns. Reggie Wayne topped the list with seven grabs for 126 yards, while tight end Dallas Clark hauled in seven passes for 62 yards.
Joseph Addai rushed for 63 yards and caught a three-yard TD pass for Indianapolis (3-0), which has 12 consecutive regular-season wins -- the longest current streak in the league. The Colts offense racked up 505 total yards.
Not to be outdone, the defense was key in disrupting the flow of Kurt Warner and a dangerous Cardinals attack, intercepting Warner twice, forcing two fumbles -- one from Warner -- and producing constant pressure that led to four sacks.
Warner finished with 332 passing yards and a 10-yard touchdown to Anquan Boldin on 30-of-52 attempts. Boldin caught six balls for 83 yards and Steve Breaston posted seven receptions for 94 yards for Arizona (1-2), which bounced back from a season-opening loss to the 49ers by beating Jacksonville in Week 2.
Larry Fitzgerald checked in with 76 yards on seven grabs, while Arizona's rushing attack was nearly nonexistent with only 24 yards.
"Very disappointed to lose the two games at home like we did," Warner said.
While the game was featuring a pair of prolific passers with a a combined five NFL MVP Awards between them, it was the defense that took center stage in the early going.
Following a series of punts, Arizona earned a new set of downs with close to 5 1/2 minutes left in the opening quarter. That drive ended with an incompletion on 3rd-and-1 at the Indy 20 and Neil Rackers kicked a 38-yard field goal for the game's first points.
Manning threw his only interception of the game on the second play of the Colts' next series and Arizona began what looked to be a fruitful drive from its own 43. Completions of 17 and 15 yards to Boldin brought a fresh set of downs at the Colts' 10, but Tim Hightower coughed up the football on the very next play and Indianapolis recovered less than a minute into the second quarter.
Manning and the Colts' offense kicked it into high gear from there. An efficient 11-play drive covered 95 yards and ended with Wayne making a one- handed diving catch over his shoulder while angling toward the right pylon for a 20-yard touchdown.
"A little frustrating early coming out and going three-and-out. You hate to do that on the road," Manning said. "The defense did a great job keeping us in (the game), forcing some turnovers."
The Cardinals produced a quick three-and-out and the Colts just as quickly were back in the end zone on a 10-yard TD pass to Clark.
Three unsuccessful runs by Hightower had Indy driving for another score just before halftime and Manning connected with rookie wideout Pierre Garcon down the right sideline for a 53-yard score and a 21-3 lead at the half.
Arizona regrouped for an eight-play 73-yard scoring drive coming out of the break capped by Warner's 10-yard scoring toss to Boldin.
The Cardinals had a chance to steal some momentum after Adam Vinatieri's 32- yard field goal on the Colts' next series hit the left upright. However, a holding call on tackle Mike Gandy on 3rd-and-6 foiled the ensuing possession and a punt led to Indy's next score.
The Colts were pinned back at their own 20, but quickly found themselves poised to score thanks to a 72-yard catch-and-run from rookie running back Donald Brown. Antrel Rolle was called for a facemask on the tackle and the Colts set up shop at the Arizona five. Two plays later Addai's three-yard TD catch provided a 28-10 lead with 2 1/2 minutes to go in the third.
Another costly holding call -- this time on tackle Levi Brown -- set back Arizona on a 3rd-and-5 attempt from the Cardinals' 45 on the last play of the third quarter and Warner was intercepted on the next play.
Indianapolis took the ball 32 yards before Vinatieri booted a 26-yarder for a 31-10 margin with 11 1/2 minutes to play.
The Cardinals just couldn't get anything going late, though, as the Colts defense ratcheted up the pressure, sacking Warner for a 28-yard loss on 4th- and-15 from the Colts' 22 on the hosts' only true chance to score the rest of the game.
Having taken a beating and with the game already decided, Warner gave way to Matt Leinart on Arizona's final possession.
Sunday's clash marked only the second time Manning and Warner have opposed one another on the field over their storied careers. The other occurred on December 30, 2001, when Warner racked up 359 yards and three touchdowns to lead the St. Louis Rams to a 42-17 trouncing of the Colts...The Colts lead the all-time series with the Cardinals, 8-6 and have won the last four meetings...The Colts had lost their only previous game in Arizona and hadn't won a road game in the series since the then-Baltimore Colts won at the then- St. Louis Cardinals in 1978...Garcon made three catches for 64 yards while Brown totaled 112 yards, 40 of which came on the ground...Neither team was particularly efficient on third down with Indy going 3-for-11 and Arizona capitalizing on just 4-of-14 chances.
09/28 01:19:05 ET
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