QB-PEYTON MANNING(on the improvement in the red zone) 11/10/04
"I would say it's almost exceeded our expectations a little bit. Somebody pointed something out to me the other day about out of our last times down there, how many touchdowns we've gotten. There's no question that's something we talked about in April, about being a better team in the red zone. We talked about running the ball down there. We have done that. The fact that we can run the ball, even though we haven't had many touchdown runs, moving the ball down closer and closer and the threat of the run has given us some good coverages to throw the ball. And we've had a lot of passes reach the end zone. Guys have done a good job getting into the end zone.
"Actually, we changed our practice schedule a little bit. We used to do just red zone on Thursday, on Friday. Now, we do it every day. So, out of those points of emphasis from (offensive coordinator) Tom Moore and (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy, they have really paid off."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on QB-David Carr) 11/10/04
"He's certainly playing much better this year. He's gotten better each year, it seems like. I haven't seen a whole lot of their offensive film, but certainly one thing that jumps out, it sounds like he and (Andre) Johnson have kind of established some pretty good timing. I think Johnson is a big-time receiver, and you can tell David has a lot of confidence in him. He's a tough guy. I know he's played just about every play. I know he's had a couple of injuries, but he's hung in there from the get-go. You can just tell he's learned a lot from his rookie season and his second year and just using what he's learned to make him better. An expansion franchise, he's really been the cornerstone there. So, I think he's done a really good job."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if the Texans have improved) 11/10/04
"Yeah, they have. Last year, Houstongave us all we could handle, both games. And we were fortunate to win. They're 4-4, right up there in the middle of the division. They're thinking division title all the way, there's no question, as they should. We have them here at home, which is nice, but it's a huge game for both teams. It's an AFC South division game and it's one both teams need to win."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on if their defense is the same as when defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was in same role with Colts) 11/10/04
"It's a little different style of defense. (They have) a 3-4 defense, which is the first thing that's different. That's different than when we were here. You see a combination of different looks. For the most part, it's been the same core group of guys, even though they have two rookies that are playing real well for them in (DE-Jason) Babin and (DB-Dunta) Robinson. That's made a big difference in their pass rush and in their coverage. They actually moved (DB-Marcus) Coleman, a corner, to safety, which was a nice move for them. The things that they've done in the games in which they've won is that they've caused turnovers. They picked off (Steve) McNair four times, Oakland had a bunch of turnovers, Kansas City was really kind of in control and had a 99-yard run-back for a touchdown, which was really a huge play. So, as it's been all year, that will be the big thing for us, is trying to protect the ball."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on what the Colts offense needs to do) 11/10/04
"Just to be balanced. We threw the ball fairly well the first time (against Houstonlast year), and in the second game, Houstondid a good job of defending the pass, and we were able to run the ball well. We got behind, which was tough down there, so it would be nice to keep the game on the field and just have that mix. Especially in these division games when teams are very familiar with each other, it's nice to be able to do both. It's always a challenge handling the different looks they throw at you and being able to execute against their personnel."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on throwing to so many targets last Monday) 11/10/04
"Yeah, just different guys' numbers are being called. And different defenses are dictating who's going to be open. Minnesotakind of ran different coverages, and like I said, Houstonwill mix their coverages. We certainly have plays where we are trying to get it to a specific guy or a specific position, but if defenses change, then you have to make the progression. That's what's been happening so far this year for the most part."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on assessing the first half of the season) 11/10/04
"It's not really where we want to be, at 5-3, but that's where we are. That's the one thing we have learned here; (Head) Coach (Tony) Dungy points out these are over and the second half of the season is when everything is decided. He always points back to last year, where teams were at this point and who actually got in the playoffs, who didn't. It just goes to show you, the real deciding games are going to occur in the months of November and December. So, that's what we realize, and it's still about the AFC South and we have a chance to control the division if we take care of business. But this is an unbelievably huge game against Houstonhere at home, and that's all we can take care of. Like I said, we are 5-3, and the three games we've lost, we should have won. Coming here the next day, everybody's angry saying, 'We should have won that game,' which is what you like to have if you lose. You like to at least have been in the game. And we have been, so we feel like we have a shot to win every game. We just have to go out there and execute."
QB-PEYTON MANNING(on everything being up for grabs) 11/10/04
"We're just playing for the division and really taking it week to week. We feel like we made some strides on Monday in different phases of our team, and we're just going to try to build on that. It was a pretty good team effort I thought against Minnesota, which is what it's going to take in the second half of the season."