QB-PEYTON MANNING(on what the secret is to keeping focus when the margin is so big) 12/1/04
"Really, I think the TampaBaygame last year kind of helped us realize that anything can happen and no lead is ever safe. We really feel it's important to come out fast and try to get off to a good start, but if you get a lead or are behind, just keep playing the same way. In the NFL, offenses are too good, too explosive, and there's a lot of time on the clock even when it doesn't seem like it. It's important always to try to execute and try to score points."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if you can block the score out when you're ahead by so many points) 12/1/04
"Yeah. You really do. Every series kind of has its own identity. You go out, and you're going to see different defenses. You're just trying to score and move the ball, possess the ball, and put points on the board every time you're out there on the field."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on how this offense can play better right now) 12/1/04
"Well, I think we can cut down on our penalties. We can improve on third downs. Some of the things we are doing well, we need to keep doing that, like protecting the ball and getting points in the red zone. But there's always some things you can do better and there's a couple of things that we can improve on."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on how much confidence this offense has right now) 12/1/04
"It's still game to game. Just because you had a good week the week before really doesn't mean a whole lot going into the next week. You're playing a different opponent, different defenses. It's nice to be able to refer back to prior situations we know we're capable of, but we still have to go out and execute it each week."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on the offensive line) 12/1/04
"There's been some shuffling going on there, but those guys, kind of whoever's been in there, has done an excellent job. We expect the same production this week. These guys are always in tune to different positions…we expect whoever's in there to go in there and play well."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on the Titans' veteran leadership being a reason they won't let down) 12/1/04
"Absolutely. Certainly with (Steve) McNair back at quarterback, they're an explosive offense again. They got up on Houston21-3, and then Houstonjust made a couple of plays to get back into the game. Defensively, they are probably one of the more stout defensive lines in the league. They can cause a lot of problems up front. A division game, it's going to be a tough opponent."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on looking back early in the year, if he would have ever imagined that the Titans wouldn't be in the playoff hunt at this point) 12/1/04
"It's hard to say. All I knew is that early on in the season, we played them in the second week of the year. That was kind of what we were focused on. That was our first division game. That was important, and after that, you just sort of take everything as it comes with the season. Like I said, it's an AFC South game. This is one of those games where records don't matter. Both teams are very familiar with each other. It will be a full 60-minute game."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on how much better this team is after having a little break off) 12/1/04
"We'll find out. Hopefully, we can keep our momentum going and keep playing well on both sides of the ball. But you still have to show up and do it. Like I said, the four game stretch is over. We had a little time off. Hopefully, some guys got healthy. We are still a little beat up, we're missing a few guys, but the key is to be playing our best football in the month of December. Hopefully, we can come out and play well, especially here at home, in an AFC South game."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on how long he thinks he's been playing at this level) 12/1/04
"I don't really know. I don't really give myself grades during the season. Certainly offensively, we have been executing well, but it's been good weeks of preparation. Even in the short week against Detroit, we really felt like we had a full week of preparation and we were ready to play that game. I think the same thing this week. I feel like I have to do my job, whether that's throwing the ball, making audibles or turning around and handing it off to Edgerrin James. I've had great support around me that's helped make my job easier."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on how much he enjoys having as much control over the offense as he does in an era where most quarterbacks don't) 12/1/04
"I do. I appreciate the trust that Tom Moore, offensive coordinator, and (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy have in me. I try to make it worthwhile for them. I try to do the right thing and make good decisions. It certainly is nice to have the flexibility to be able to call some of your own plays and be able to make changes, and if you see something out there on the field, to erase the board and call a play, try to get a touchdown to Marvin Harrison. I feel like I've kind of earned that trust in the seven years that I've been here. Certainly, it's more responsibility on the quarterback, but it's a good situation to be in."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if there is a place for WR-Troy Walters to get back in the mix) 12/1/04
"Absolutely. Troy's a guy that was a big part of this offense last year and in the offseason before his injury. There's definitely a place for him on the field. It's up to (Offensive Coordinator) Tom (Moore) to mix in personnel and formations and those rotations. Troy's a guy, obviously on special teams that will make a difference, but definitely on the offensive side as well."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if he's had a season where he's had as much fun on the field as he seems to be having this year) 12/1/04
"It's still week to week. Obviously when you win, it's definitely more fun. But there's so much football left. This is a critical month for us, in the month of December, and it starts off with a division game here at home. I think our team has done a pretty good job of putting the prior game behind us, whether it's been a win or a loss. That will be the same case this week. The Detroitgame is over with. We have a tough game against Tennessee."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on how big RB-Edgerrin James' presence is in the red zone) 12/1/04
"All over the field, his presence is a big factor. A lot of our big plays have come off play action. I've always said, and this is pretty obvious, the play action doesn't work very well if you don't have a legitimate threat back there in the backfield. Edgerrin is running the ball so well with handoffs or in the passing game. When we are faking the handoff to him, we are getting some bite by the linebackers and by the safties. And that's because of the way he's running the ball. So, certainly, his presence in the backfield makes a big difference in all phases of the offense."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on how m