- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 12, 2001

MIAMI (AP) Turnovers, injuries and five straight losses are frustrating Indianapolis Colts star receiver Marvin Harrison, but he promises his team won't quit.

"I've been with a lot of these guys in this room for a long time, and I know that we're going to fight to the bitter end," Harrison said after a 41-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday night. "For me personally, I'm about a couple of days from the mental joint."

The anxiety is also getting to coach Jim Mora, whose offense turned over the ball four times in the Colts' worst loss in more than three seasons. The Colts have 13 turnovers in the past three games.

"We just got whipped pretty good tonight," said Mora, who was noticeably calmer than during his tirade after a loss to San Francisco two weeks ago. "I'm not angry. There's a lot of frustration throughout all of us."

Jay Fiedler tossed three touchdowns and ran for a fourth to lead Miami (9-3) over division rival Indianapolis (4-8). The Dolphins have sole control in the AFC East, a division the Colts were favored to win at the start of the season.

But injuries to leading rusher Edgerrin James, receiver Jerome Pathon and linebacker Mike Peterson have hindered the Colts.

"I don't like to make excuses," Mora said. "We've got a lot of guys that are absent, not just Edgerrin. We miss Edgerrin, no question about it. The guy's a great football player. [But] again, I'm not going to use that as an excuse."

The Colts' ability to make big plays against the stingy Dolphins defense was hampered even more after starting receiver Terrence Wilkins went down with a right hamstring injury.

Quarterback Peyton Manning struggled again. He threw three interceptions two on tipped passes and has 11 in the last five games.

"These days, if it's a bad throw, it doesn't hit the guy's hand and go to the ground," Manning said. "It goes right to them."

No one on the Colts is having a good time, Manning said.

"It's no fun to lose. In the football world, these are tough times," Manning said. "When you lose five in a row, to lose 41-6 in a nationally televised game, it's not an enjoyable experience."

"There's not a whole lot of magic words you can say at this point," said Manning, who didn't throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season and finished 19 of 32 for 173 yards and three interceptions.

Manning's offense was held to 254 yards, way below its AFC-leading average of 381.8 yards per game.

Unlike the four previous games, which were close, the way the Colts lost to the Dolphins was something they haven't experienced in a long time. The 35-point loss was the Colts' worst since a 44-6 loss to the New York Jets on Sept. 20, 1998. Indianapolis failed to score an offensive touchdown for the first time since a 31-6 loss to Buffalo on Jan. 2, 2000.

Linebacker Marcus Washington, who had eight tackles and a tipped pass, said he was proud of the team for showing effort until the end.

"It's easy to play good and dance and skip around when things are going well, but when it's tough times, it tells a lot about [the teams character]," Washington said.

Seeking character is admirable, but Mora is more concerned with righting the ship.

"I'm not fine," Mora said. "You can't be fine when you're 4-8. But I'm not spent. I've been worse than this. We're fighting. This team will fight. I guarantee you we'll fight until the last play in the last game."

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