Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cowboys vs. Colts: Peyton Manning Throws 4 More INTs in Dallas Upset

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts desperately needed a victory Sunday afternoon. They fell just short in heartbreaking fashion.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, as the Dallas Cowboys pulled out a 38-35 overtime victory at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday.

David Buehler's 38-yard field goal on the fourth possession of overtime gave Dallas the victory. The score was set up by Dallas safety Sean Lee's second interception of Manning on the day.

The loss dropped the defending AFC champion Colts (6-6) a game out of first place in the division. They trail the Jacksonville Jaguars by a game. Indianapolis lost for a fourth time in five games and a third consecutive game. Dallas improved to 4-8.

• The Colts, who trailed 27-14 after a Dallas interception return for a touchdown, put together a remarkable comeback to take the lead at 28-27. First, rookie running back Javarris James' 1-yard run cut the deficit to 27-21 early in the quarter, then wide receiver Taj Smith blocked a punt and scored to give the Colts their first lead of the game.

• The Colts committed a critical penalty with 3:30 remaining. After a goal-line stand forced a Dallas field goal to make it 30-28, Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster was called for "leverage" on the kick attempt. That's an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and gave Dallas a first down at the 3. Indianapolis stopped Dallas on two ensuing running plays, then Dallas quarterback Jon Kitna threw two yards to tight end Jason Witten for a TD and a two-point pass to Miles Austin made it 35-28.

• The Colts rallied in dramatic fashion after that Dallas TD, with Manning driving the Colts 81 yards in 10 plays and 2:09. James' 2-yard run and ensuing point-after by Adam Vinatieri tied the game at 35.

• The interception problems continued for Manning, who finished with four in the game and has now thrown 11 in the last three Colts outings.. He was intercepted on a long pass to Reggie Wayne in the first quarter. Manning then threw his second interception of the game early in the second quarter, with Orlando Scandrick returning it 40 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 Cowboys lead. That put the Colts in a huge early hole and set the tone for the rest of the game.

• Orlando Scandrick later left the game with a concussion and did not return.

• Manning's third interception was returned for a 31-yard touchdown by safety Sean Lee. That made it 27-14, Colts. It was the second consecutive game Manning has had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. It also happened last week in a 36-14 loss to San Diego.

• Colts cornerback Jerraud Powers left the game with an arm injury and did not return. That left the Colts without their two top corners. Kelvin Hayden missed the game with a neck injury.

• The Colts began to get their footing midway through the third quarter with a 15-play, 86-yard drive that ate up more than eight minutes. Pierre Garcon finished the march with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Manning to make it 17-7 Cowboys.

• Garcon, after being injured and playing inconsistently early in the season, has gotten healthier and has been a real force for the Colts in recent weeks. His inspired, energetic play kept the Colts in the game after a rough start Sunday.

• As expected, the Colts played without wide receiver Austin Collie (concussion) and running back Joseph Addai (neck), as well as Hayden (neck), safety Bob Sanders (biceps), linebacker Clint Session (elbow), offensive lineman Jaimie Thomas, offensive lineman Jacques McClendon and defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews.

• Third-year offensive guard Mike Pollak returned to the lineup for the Colts, replacing rookie free agent Jeff Linkenbach, a starter in the last three games. Jacob Lacey started in place of the injured Hayden for Indianapolis.

• LB Gary Brackett and RB Mike Hart returned for the Colts after three-game absences, though Hart left midway through the game with an ankle issue.

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