QB-PEYTON MANNING (on playing Houston again just three weeks after playing them) * *
"I don't know the last time we played a team this close, back-to-back. It's really unique because they had a bye week after us and a Monday night game. There's really only one additional game to study. Obviously, you can study a lot from the time we played them. They'll be fresh. They've had a bye week. We've had two tough, emotional games. Going down there to Houston is always a tough place to play. We've always had close games down there. It will be a challenge. It is a team that we are familiar with, but they're familiar with us. It'll come down to who executes better."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if the defense playing well changes anything the offense does)
"No. It certainly doesn't. Obviously, our job is to score more points than them. Does it mean 34, like it was two weeks ago, or does it mean 17? The idea is to score as many as you can. Obviously, we want to take pressure off of our defense and give them the lead. We always try to get the lead, so DE-Dwight (Freeney) and DE-Robert (Mathis) can do their thing. We love to put the other team's offense in a one-dimensional mode. You love to put them in a catch-up mode early. Every game is going to take on its (own) identity. That's our job, to score touchdowns, but we left some points out there against Baltimore last week, probably left some points out there last time against Houston, and credit to them for making some good defensive plays. Hopefully, we can do a better job, score some more points and play a little more of a balanced game."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if the Colts have had good fortune in winning some of these close games)
"That's not really how I look at it. Guys have made some critical plays at critical times, especially late in the game in the fourth quarter. It's made a difference in the ballgame. We know games will continue to get tougher as we go down the home stretch. I think our team, overall, needs to play better in order to keep winning."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on his preparation this week when he has only one new tape to go over since last playing Houston)
"Like I said, you prepare for what you see on film, but then you also have a little preparation for the unexpected, for something new. There's always, a lot of times, a change in a team's game plan the second time around. They can give you something totally different that you haven't seen before. So, you have to be prepared for that, to adjust to that. At the same time, some of the things that worked for them the first time, you probably expect to see some of those things again. Some of the things that worked for us the first time, we still have to try to do those things, and things we didn't do well, try to do them better."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on being able to clinch the division with a win and Jacksonville loss)
"We really haven't thought about that. We haven't talked about that. Coach Caldwell really doesn't address that with us. He gives us the Houston scouting report, just like he did for Baltimore last week and New England the week before. That's really all we prepare for, going down there and trying to win. That's been our approach all season. I think it's been a good one. We'll just figure the rest of it out when the season is over."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he can appreciate being 10-0)
"I guess we really haven't taken much time to reflect on that. I think even our young guys realize how hard it is to win. They watch other teams win. They watch the Tennessee-Houston game. That game could have gone either way. Tennessee pulls away with it. They've seen how close our last two games are, and how we've had close wins. Were we fortunate to win? I don't know. That's up for opinion. But we ended up getting the win. I think our guys, because of the kind of games we've had, have realized that it is tough to win in this league, and you never take winning for granted. It's been a good start. I think our last four games, we've had to come back in the fourth quarter at some point in all four of them. So, that's a lot of the way its been this season. That's kind of the games that you anticipate having a lot of, especially when you get into late November and December."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on what he remembers about the last time the Colts lost a regular season game)
"I just thought we played okay (against Tennessee 10/27/08). I didn't play very well. I had a couple of turnovers. We had some chances there late and just didn't make the plays. Since then, every game has been different. It's kind of taken on its (own) identity. Obviously, the summary of all those games since then is that we have made enough plays to win, whether its been late in the fourth quarter with a defensive interception, like LB-Gary Brackett, or a touchdown run by RB-Joseph Addai, or its just been solid execution throughout the game. I don't really get into summarizing. I really don't think because something happened in one game means it's going to happen in another. Every week and every game really kind of has its own identity."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if it surprised him that some of his teammates don't even remember the last time the Colts lost a regular season game)
"Well, a lot of them weren't even here. That's one thing. It has been some time. We felt like last year, in a lot of ways, was two different seasons. Once, we did start winning last year, we kind of felt like we started playing Colts' football. It did kind of become a new season. But last year was a completely different year. This is its own year. I truly think we have taken it one week at a time. One thing that Coach Caldwell doesn't do, he doesn't post where we are in the division. He doesn't really give us the weekly update. He just talks about this game and says 'Let's count them up at the end.' I think the team has taken on that approach and is just truly worried about the next game in front of us every single week."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on what the Colts' philosophy will be if they do clinch the division and home field advantage in the playoffs soon)
"I guess I'm just not ready at this point to start thinking about that. Obviously, here we are in whatever week we are in and it's all about Houston. I don't think anybody in the locker room is thinking about that. We're just thinking about trying to beat Houston. We'll deal with all the other stuff if and when it happens."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on the atmosphere at Reliant Stadium in Houston)
"It's a tough place to play. It's loud. They have good fans. I think they've known that these Colts-Texans games down in Houston especially, have been close through the years and have had some late fourth-quarter dramatics. That's kind of the game you're anticipating, and hopefully we can find a way to go down there and get a win."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on RB-Joseph Addai)
"He is running hard, and we've had a lot on him because RB-Donald (Brown) has missed some time. Joe's really had to carry the load. (RB-Chad) Simpson has spelled him a little bit in the running game. But in the passing game, he's been pivotal. He is running hard. He's done a great job getting down there inside the 10- or 15-yard line and smelling the end zone and going and getting it. You're always drawing up red zone plays and that sure makes your red zone offense a lot easier when he just powers one in there from the 10. He had a great run the other day against Baltimore. He's been durable, he's been working hard, and he's been passing protecting well, all the things you like in a running back."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if RB-Joseph Addai is a perfect fit for this offense)
"There's no question. He's a guy that the only time he comes out is when he needs a little break. Obviously, he and (RB-Donald) Brown have a rotation at times. There are certain backs that you say, 'Hey, this really isn't suited quite for him.' Joe's an every-down back, a goal-line back, a short-yardage back, a third-down back. It's a credit to his versatility."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if enough is being done to protect quarterbacks after the recent rash of injuries to the position)
"A lot of people ask me about trends in the league this season, whether it's injuries or passing statistics or what not. I don't know what that means. I'm not informed, I guess. I'm not the one to ask. I try to think that I keep up with the league, but I really keep up with the Colts more and the Giants, I guess. I can't speak for the quarterback protection rules or what not. I'm probably the wrong guy to ask. I'm sure (Colts' Team President Bill) Polian can give you a better answer."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on his plans for Thanksgiving)
"We just have some people coming over to the house. We try to make sure that everybody has a place to eat around here. We have a lot of young guys, a lot of rookies, that are here by themselves. Nobody should have to be by themselves on Thanksgiving. We have about 10 or 12 coming over to our house. There will be a lot of food. We'll watch some football."
QB-PEYTON MANNING (on if he's doing any Thanksgiving cooking)
"I am not. That is better for everybody."