News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 8, 2009

Colts Sidebar: Manning, Clark hook up 14 times to tie franchise record

By Tom James

Indianapolis — It’s probably safe to assume that Dallas Clark is going to be one tired tight end this morning.

After all, Clark hauled in 14 passes for 119 yards from quarterback Peyton Manning in Sunday’s 20-17 come-from-behind win over the Houston Texans, tying a franchise record. He was Manning’s primary target 16 times — 11 of those catches coming in the fast-break first half — when the Indianapolis Colts went no-huddle for a whopping 50 plays.

Clark’s previous high was 12 receptions against the Detroit Lions last season. He tied the Colts’ single-game receiving record, which was set twice by former Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison (at Cleveland, 1999, vs. Dallas, 2002).

His 14 receptions tied for the third-most in a game by a tight end in NFL history (Kellen Winslow caught 15 in 1984 and Jason Whitten in 2007). Clark also surpassed Jim Mutscheller for the second-most receiving yards by a Colts tight end. He now has 3,785 and trails John Mackey’s total of 5,126.

Clark recorded his seventh career 100-yard receiving game, the second-most among Colts tight ends; Mackey had eight.

“I wouldn’t say [the fast pace] was fun. When you run [50] plays in the first half, you are going to feel that Wednesday and Thursday. [Running the no-huddle] was fun for a series. It was kind of a game-time decision trying to play some up-tempo and mix it up a little bit on them. It helped. I think we were wearing them down, but we were getting pretty tired as well,” the Colts’ 2004 first-round draft pick said after the game.

“But we were able to keep pressing and keep them guessing. I think it helped us. It was a good kind of weapon for us. I think it definitely helped us get some tempo going.”

• Still work to do on offense — Manning wasn’t pleased with the Colts’ inability to take advantage of the opportunities that were presented in the first half.

“Obviously, we would like to score more than 20 points. We would like to not kick field goals. We did a pretty good job of moving the ball at times. But we’d like to be a little better on third down and be able to stay on the field and finish drives,” he said.

“That is what you are always looking for, to score enough to win. But we had to have some help from our defense. We want to play our part better and score more points.”

• Two undefeated — Thanks to a second-half comeback of their own, the New Orleans Saints rallied for a 30-20 win over the Carolina Panthers Sunday and remain the other undefeated team in the league.

The Saints are coached by former Eastern Illinois quarterback and ex-Indiana State assistant coach Sean Payton.

• 1975 Colts on hand — Approximately 40 members of the Baltimore Colts’ 1975 team, including former head coach Ted Marchibroda, were on hand to watch the Houston game.

Among them was quarterback Bert Jones, who shared a private moment with Manning on the sidelines after the pre-game warm-up.

• Injury list — Rookie wide receiver Austin Collie suffered a neck injury in the fourth quarter. Collie had made a 16-yard reception deep in Texans territory to help set up the Colts’ final touchdown of the game. He did not return.

An update on his availability for the New England game probably won’t be known until Wednesday at the earliest.

Pregame inactives were placekicker Adam Vinatieri (knee), wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (knee), cornerback Kelvin Hayden (knee), running back Donald Brown (shoulder), offensive tackle Tony Ugoh, rookie defensive tackle Fili Moala (concussion) and tight end Tom Santi. Rookie Curtis Painter was Indianapolis’ emergency third quarterback.

• A first for Powers — Rookie cornerback Jerraud Powers recorded his first NFL career interception when he picked off Houston’s Matt Schaub in the first quarter.

Powers had 10 total tackles in the game.

• Record book — Manning became the first quarterback in league history to throw for 40,000 or more yards in a decade (2000-09). He also tied Fran Tarkenton for the fourth-most starting wins with 125. He directed his 39th career fourth-quarter/overtime game-winning drive of his career.

Defensive end Dwight Freeney registered a sack in his nine consecutive game, surpassing Robert Mathis’s record of eight set in 2005. Freeney tied Bruce Smith and Kevin Greene for the third-longest streak in NFL history. He also tied Mathis’s NFL record of eight consecutive games with a sack to start a season.

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne passed Raymond Berry’s total of 631 receptions for the second-most catches in Colts history. Wayne now has 635 total pass receptions in his nine-year NFL career.

He also threw a pass in the Houston game, which was intercepted. It was his first career pass attempt.

Running back Joseph Addai scored a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game for the fourth time in his career with the Colts. He had a 7-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and a 2-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.