For Manning, TD record doesn't top priority list

Colts QB, 2 from passing Marino, remains focused on team's playoff position

Ravens Gameday

Colts 20, Ravens 10

December 20, 2004|By Tom James | Tom James,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

INDIANAPOLIS - Team success or individual records. If you were to ask Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning which meant more to him, team goals would trump individual aspirations every time.

As he closes in on two NFL single-season records - Dan Marino's 20-year-old mark for touchdown passes and Steve Young's 10-year-old standard for passing efficiency - talk about the Colts' 11-3 record and second straight AFC South championship have been pushed to the background.

Manning has thrown 47 touchdown passes this season and needs two more over the Colts' final two games to break Marino's record of 48, which was set in 1984. His passing efficiency rating of 123.9 will shatter Young's league-best 112.8 if he can stay on pace.

But despite all of those glittering statistics, it's still a matter of team first for the Colts quarterback. So when Indianapolis had the ball at the Ravens' 4-yard line with 59 seconds remaining in the game, Manning took a knee and ran out the clock.

"I don't know why the fans were booing there at the end of the game," Manning said after completing 20 of 33 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown in Indianapolis' 20-10 win over the Ravens last night at the RCA Dome.

"The goal is to win the game. We did that. We play at home next week, too. Hopefully, they'll be here again. It's one thing if we were out of the playoffs and we had a losing season going and we were just playing for [the touchdown record]. But we're still holding out hope for a higher seed [in the playoffs]."

Colts coach Tony Dungy said that if the Ravens had chosen to use their final two timeouts, Indianapolis might have tried to put the ball in the end zone.

"If they had chose to use them, we would have tried to score at that point," he said. "If they didn't, we did the right thing and hopefully we can get [the touchdown record] next week."

Manning went over the 4,000-yard passing mark for an NFL-record sixth time. He has thrown for 4,168 yards this season.

Manning and wide receiver Marvin Harrison combined for their 82nd touchdown pass last night. They are three behind Steve Young's and Jerry Rice's NFL record of 85. It was Harrison's 97th career touchdown catch.

Defensive end Dwight Freeney registered his 14th and 15th sacks of the season, breaking the team's single-season record, which he set as a rookie two years ago. Freeney has eight sacks in his past three games.

Place-kicker Mike Vanderjagt made two of three field-goal attempts against the Ravens. He has scored in 100 consecutive games.

Middle linebacker Rob Morris left the game in the third quarter with a concussion. He did not return. ... Center Jeff Saturday returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with a torn right calf muscle. ... Rookie offensive guard Jake Scott started at right guard.

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