- Associated Press - Sunday, December 5, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS | Suddenly, Peyton Manning is getting it all wrong.

Miscommunications. Errant throws. Poor decisions.

Dallas returned two of Manning’s four interceptions for scores and used the last one to set up David Buehler’s 38-yard field goal for a 38-35 overtime win.

Just another bad day for the Colts and their franchise quarterback.


“It isn’t good when you’re having to ask which one is it,” Manning joked in the postgame news conference. “I don’t make any excuses. I’m continuing to throw, I’ll keep throwing. I hope I throw it to our guys.”

Manning has never been through anything like this in his NFL career.

For the first time, he’s thrown 11 interceptions in a three-week span. Four of those have been returned for scores, and he’s thrown four picks in back-to-back weeks for the first time ever. He threw three in each of his first two NFL games.

And though Manning’s other numbers, 36 of 48 for 365 yards and two TDs, seemed more in line with his reputation, the interceptions are causing alarm.

With three straight losses, Indy (6-6) has fallen one game behind AFC South-leading Jacksonville, and the Jags already have beaten Indy once this season. Plus, the Colts visit struggling Tennessee on Thursday night.

“We certainly have put ourselves in a hole,” Manning said. “Unfortunately, we have to scoreboard watch a little bit and that’s not a situation you want to be in. I’m disappointed that I’ve put our team in a hole, but we do have some division games left.”

Even getting back in sync with his favorite target, four-time Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne didn’t break Manning out of his funk. Wayne caught 14 passes for 200 yards, both career highs, scored one TD and along with Manning almost willed the Colts into overtime.

But the miscues were too much to overcome.

Manning’s first interception led to a Dallas field goal. Orlando Scandrick broke underneath the route of Blair White and took the second back 40 yards to make it 17-0 early in the second quarter.

Backup linebacker Sean Lee joined the club by stepping in front of White again late in the third quarter and scored on a 31-yard return.

And Lee took advantage in overtime, too, intercepting a third-and-1 pass intended for Jacob Tamme. Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins deflected it to Lee, who took it back 13 yards to the Colts 36. Six plays later, Buehler won it.

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