QB-PEYTON MANNING(on the importance of Monday night's game vs. Minnesota) 11/4/04
"Both teams are coming off of losses, both teams obviously want to win. Going into the half-way point here, this is kind of where teams begin to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Hopefully, we can be one of those teams that keeps going forward."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on the offense's game plan) 11/4/04
"Offensively, just keep trying to execute well, to convert third downs and keep doing a pretty good job in the red zone. Obviously, when you're playing against a team that—obviously we're just focused on the defense, and they're a very active defense—but you know their offense, they're capable of scoring some points. So, you'd like to convert third downs, stay on the field and maintain the ball as much as you can."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on how big of a stretch the next four games in 18 days is) 11/4/04
"It really is. This is an important game. We would like to make a little bit of a run here, if we could. We've lost two in a row. That's disappointing, and that's a little bit of unchartered territory for us. Hopefully, with the veterans we have, we can rebound and bounce back. We have two games at home here, and obviously, it all starts with Minnesotahere on Monday night. So, it would be nice to win this one and get on a little bit of a roll here."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if this is a turning point in the season) 11/4/04
"We hope so. Like I said, Kansas Citywas a disappointing loss, coming off a loss. Now, we've lost two in a row. (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy always points out where we are as compared to other teams in the AFC, and right now, we're probably in the middle. And we'd like to get on a little wining streak and move ourselves toward the top of the AFC if we can."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on running the ball to keep QB-Daunte Culpepper on the sideline) 11/4/04
"That would be nice. It would be nice for us to stay on the field. It would be nice for us to get the running game going. The past two weeks, really the score has kind of dictated some of our play-calling. (Edgerrin James') presence back there—and even take Kansas City, we didn't run the ball once in the second half, and yet when we ran quite a bit of play action, they were still biting on the fake—so, it just tells you the presence of Edgerrin back there. But we'd like to get him more involved. I really feel we're at our best when we're at that 30-30 balance of run and pass. It would be nice to get back to somewhat of a normal game as far as play-calling is concerned."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on RB-Edgerrin James' pass protection) 11/4/04
"I'm not sure what other defenses think before the game, but I know any team that he's played against, I know after the game what they think about him; they have no choice but to understand how strong he is and how stout he is at the point of attack. I don't think he likes it when you say, 'Great job protecting today,' because he didn't get many runs, and I understand that. So, we'd like to get Edgerrin more involved, and I would, too. Like I said, we're at our best, everybody's more in their comfort zone when we have a good mix of run, drop-back pass and play action."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if they have done anything different with more deep passes being thrown this year) 11/4/04
"We've pretty much just (been) running our offense, and some of the deep balls have been there. I think we've done a pretty good job of being patient for the most part. We probably took as many shots as we have all year against Kansas City, somewhat playing against that clock type of situation. But, I think we've done a pretty good job of calling the deep stuff. When it's there, we've taken it. If it hasn't been there, we've laid it off and made good yards after that. That's always been our philosophy as far as getting the ball down the field."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if he prefers the deep ball as opposed to 10-play drives) 11/4/04
"The offensive line prefers that. For me, I think it's nice when you can have those long drives, have a good mix and keep a defense somewhat off balance. But, the idea is to score. That's our goal whether it's fast or it's a slow drive. We'll take it either way."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if he pays attention to the numbers he is putting up) 11/4/04
"Not really. Here we are in the middle of the season, the only numbers that really show up to me are we've lost two in a row and we're 4-3. I think for us to be at our best, we need to get back to more of a balance and more of a mix. I had 44 attempts on Sunday against the Chiefs and Edgerrin had not many carries at all. Obviously, we could have won the game and didn't. But, I think we're at our best, everybody's more in of a comfort zone when we have a 30-30 mix. With 30 attempts, you can still do a lot of damage as far as in the passing game. With the weapons that we have, we'd be crazy not to throw the ball. But really, it's funny, you think about Jacksonville, we've had less attempts than Jacksonvillehas and some other teams. I think when we are throwing the ball, though, we are being efficient. Guys are getting open, we're hitting big plays and we're getting in the end zone quite a bit."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on the Colts high third-down conversion rate) 11/4/04
"It's been a good statistic for us. It's been a lot of third-and-reasonables, which is always something we talk about. You get a lot of 3rd-and-11, 3rd-and-12s, that percentage is probably going down. That is going to be one of the big keys this Monday, because Minnesotais also good on third down offensively, and they've been good defensively, getting teams off of the field. So, that will be a key factor in this game for both teams."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if there is any frustration) 11/4/04
"Certainly, there's been some frustration and disappointment the last two weeks, which I think is normal and probably healthy after a loss. But, there is no panic, and that's the key, is that guys understand the situation that we're in, understand that we do need to do our jobs better on both sides of the ball and all three phases and just play better football. Especially with the schedule that we have, you're not going to beat these good football teams playing average to below-average football. We have to make more plays on both sides of the ball. We're capable of doing it. The idea this week is to get better so we can come out with a win on Monday."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on possibly winning the AFC South with nine wins) 11/4/04
"We haven't thought about that. Like I said, we're 4-3, and we'd like to be 5-3 after Monday. Certainly, that's what we're playing for, the AFC South. We can't control what everybody else is doing and who else wins and who loses. We can control our team an