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Archive for Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Manning lights up Bengals

December 19, 2006

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— Peyton Manning felt cuddly warm thanks to his favorite receiver.

Of course, Manning to Marvin Harrison is the surest way to get the Indianapolis Colts out of a funk.

The most prolific passing duo in NFL history tore apart the Cincinnati Bengals, combining for three touchdowns in a 34-16 victory Monday night.

"When your backs are against the wall, you go to that old blanket," Manning said. "I'm thankful for those guys every day. Without those two, Marvin and Reggie (Wayne) ...

"I watch other quarterbacks in the league, and none of them have two guys like that. One great receiver, but not two great receivers. It makes my job easier."

So did the Colts' maligned defense, which woke up after Indy dropped three of its last four games and yielded an incomprehensible 375 yards rushing a week ago to Jacksonville. Cincinnati gained 278 yards overall, much of it after the outcome was decided.

"The defense felt really challenged to stop the run and get the offense back on the field," Manning said. "We did a good job of staying on the field tonight and getting into a groove."

The victory kept Indianapolis even with Baltimore and one game behind San Diego in the race for top record in the AFC.

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