Monday, September 28, 2009
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Manning carves up Cardinals, Colts win 31-10

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[September 28, 2009]  GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner have thrown for miles and miles in their NFL careers, yet their paths crossed for only the second time on Sunday night.

Manning stole the show.

On the field where little brother Eli led the New York Giants to a Super Bowl triumph two seasons ago, Manning threw four touchdown passes, three in the second quarter, to power the Indianapolis Colts past Warner and the turnover-plagued Arizona Cardinals 31-10.

The Colts' quarterback completed 24 of 35 for 379 yards with one interception.

Warner, under severe pressure much of the night, was 30 of 52 for 332 yards and one score but was picked off twice.

Indianapolis safety Antoine Bethea recovered a fumble at the 5 to stop one Arizona drive and intercepted a deflected pass in the end zone to thwart another.

Manning had four TD passes in a game for the 18th time, moving him ahead of Johnny Unitas into third on the NFL career list, behind Dan Marino's 21 and Brett Favre's 20.

Manning topped 300 yards passing for the third time in as many games this season, giving him 50 for his career.


Manning carved up the Cardinals with a show of precision in the second quarter.

He threw 20 yards to Reggie Wayne for the first score, 10 yards to Dallas Clark for the second and a nifty 53 yards to Pierre Garcon as Indianapolis took a 21-3 halftime lead.

Manning added a 3-yard TD toss to Joseph Addai in the third quarter to make it 28-10.

The Cardinals, up 3-0 early, drove deep into Indianapolis territory but Tim Hightower fumbled at the 5.

The Colts (3-0) then went 95 yards in 11 plays for the touchdown that put them ahead for good.

Wayne made a one-handed grab of Manning's pass at the pylon on a 20-yard play that put the Colts up 7-3 with 9:04 left in the half.

"Can't draw that up," Manning said. "You know he's capable of making those plays. ... Those are the plays we expect him to make."

After Indianapolis stuffed Arizona's offense, the Colts went 57 yards in six plays, Manning throwing 10 yards to Clark to make it 14-3 with 5:49 to go in the half.

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The prettiest score came when Manning lofted a pass down the sideline into the outstretched arms of Garcon on a 53-yard scoring play that made it 21-3 with 1:52 to go in the half.

Warner drove the Cardinals (1-2) to the Indianapolis 1-yard line in the final seconds of the half. He threw to Steve Breaston at the goal line but Melvin Bullitt didn't allow the receiver into the end zone.

On the next play, Warner threw under pressure toward Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone. Tim Jennings deflected the ball in the air and Bethea intercepted.

Arizona took the second half kickoff and went 73 yards in eight plays, with Warner throwing 10 yards to Anquan Boldin for the touchdown to cut it to 21-10 with 10:50 to play in the third.

But a 72-yard pass play from Manning to rookie Donald Brown set up the 3-yard TD toss to Addai to boost the lead to 28-10 with 2:26 left in the quarter.

Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, who had harassed Warner all night, limped off the field at the end of the third quarter with a right leg injury and did not return. Indianapolis was without two defensive starters -- middle linebacker Gary Brackett and cornerback Kelvin Hayden.

Arizona, 8-2 at home last season, fell to 0-2 there this season, with echoes of boos through what was left of the crowd as Warner was sacked for a 28-yard loss on fourth down with about 6 1/2 minutes to play.

[Associated Press; By BOB BAUM]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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