COLTS BENGALS NOTEBOOK
10,000 YARDSColts quarterback Peyton Manning entered Sunday as the only quarterback in NFL history to have thrown for 10,000 yards to a single receiver.
And after Sunday, he had accomplished that feat twice.
Manning and wide receiver Reggie Wayne surpassed the 10,000-yard mark together in the Colts 23-17 win against the Bengals on Sunday. Wayne's three catch, 34-yard performance gave the four-time Pro Bowler 10,005 career receiving yards with Manning.
That duo trails only Manning-to-Marvin Harrison among all-time quarterback-wide receiver duos. Manning connected with Harrison for 12,766 yards.
"It is kind of a hard thing to think about right now," Manning said after the game. "Certainly, as I have said many times before, it has been an honor and a privilege to play with both of those guys. I have never taken it for granted."
Manning and Wayne (731) also rank second in NFL history to Manning and Harrison (953) in career completions by a quarterback-receiver combination. And while Wayne—who became the 34th NFL receiver with 10,000 career receiving yards against Houston November 1 of this season—appreciates the individual milestones, he said Sunday there is a bigger picture he is focused on, and that is a team goal.
"I've worked for a long time," Wayne said. "It's a lot, but I'm not big on individual accolades. I just want to do whatever it takes to get the team involved. I guess I wouldn't be able to get to 10,000 yards without the team, but at the same time I'm going for the ultimate goal."
'I JUST WANT THEM TO KEEP COMING'
Since 2004, the Colts' record is unblemished when creating at least a plus-three turnover margin against their opponents. Indianapolis forced five Cincinnati turnovers Sunday, three interceptions and two fumbles.
Indianapolis' defense came up big in the first quarter, forcing two Cincinnati turnovers that resulted in 14 points.
Sixth-year defensive back Kelvin Hayden's interception of Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer's pass intended for Cincinnati receiver Terrell Owens started the series of turnovers. Hayden returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.
The interception was Hayden's second this season and the second in consecutive home games, both of which he returned for touchdowns. The first, a 25-yarder, came in the Colts 30-17 victory over AFC South division rival Houston two weeks ago.
Hayden's interception return also marked the first time a Colts player returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a season since former linebacker Cato June accomplished that feat in 2005.
Of Hayden's nine regular-season interceptions, he has returned three for touchdowns, the third being an 85-yard return in 2008 against Cincinnati.
Hayden also returned an interception 56 yards for a touchdown in the Colts' Super Bowl victory over Chicago in 2006.
"I just want them to keep coming," Hayden said of his four career interception returns for touchdowns. "Last week we did not force any turnovers and it was kind of hurting us. The whole (priority) this week was we wanted to go out and force turnovers—interceptions, fumbles, sack-fumbles, strips, anything to fight and scratch to get turnovers, and that's what we did today."
Hayden's return gave the Colts a 10-0 lead. Then, on the Bengals' first play of their ensuing possession, Colts strongside linebacker Philip Wheeler forced the ball out of Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson's arms and teammate Antonio Johnson recovered the fumble.
Indianapolis' offense then covered 25 yards on seven plays, capped by a three-yard Javarris James touchdown run to give the Colts an early 17-0 lead in the second quarter.
After two touchdown runs last week at Philadelphia, James' touchdown marked the third in the past two games for the Colts rookie running back. Sunday's score was the only Colts offensive score of the game.
"It's a great feeling, and like I said (last week), I'll take the wins over the touchdowns any day of the week," James said. "(The offense) came out and struggled, and that's what makes it a team game because they played their butts off. When we didn't capitalize on drives, (the defense) really came through for us. My hat's off to the defense."
JAMES BECOMES 'NEXT MAN UP'
Colts rookie wide receiver Brandon James, in his first career NFL regular season game, became the Colts' latest 'Next Man Up' Sunday.
Making his first career reception with under a minute remaining in the first half, James made back to back catches for first downs to help extend Indianapolis' drive to get in position for a 47-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal that pushed the Colts lead to 20-10 at halftime.
James' first catch went for 12 yards, but it was his second that was most impressive.
After a Peyton Manning audible in James' direction, the rookie receiver went down the field and turned for a perfectly-placed pass on his back shoulder for a 17-yard gain with a Bengals defensive back in tight coverage.
"We had a certain play called and Peyton worked his magic, gave me something else and I ran it and he got the ball to me and it worked out," James said. "It was a great throw by him and I just did my job and made the catch."
James admitted to having "first-time jitters," but after getting the first couple of catches under his belt, they "went away and it was just football again."
James finished with four catches for 36 yards, and also handled punt return duties, handling two punts for four yards and fair-catching two.
"They had good field position a lot of the time and kept us backed up," James said. "I felt like I did a pretty good job of playing them. One bounced and a lot of teammates were scared of me taking it, but I didn't want it risk it going down and getting downed at the one. Other than that, I feel pretty good with what I did today."
-Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (355) surpassed Eddie Murray (352) for 11th-most field goals made in NFL history. With his 11-point day, Vinatieri also became the 12th kicker to surpass 1,600 career-kicking points.
-Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster has had a sack in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
-Robert Mathis (7.5 sacks) and Dwight Freeney (6.0 sacks) each added a sack to their seasonal totals.
-Indianapolis' defense held the Bengals to five third down conversions on 13 attempts, a 38-percent conversion rate.
-Colts tight end Jacob Tamme led Indianapolis in receiving with seven catches for 73 yards.
-Defensive back Mike Newton and defensive tackle Antonio Johnson each had fumble recoveries.
-Aaron Francisco, Tyjuan Hagler and Hayden and each had interceptions.
-Hayden led Indianapolis with nine tackles.
-Colts punter Pat McAfee punted seven times for a 41.3-yard average with a long of 49 yards and three downed inside the 20.