- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning doesn’t like to talk about getting shaken up.

“I go to the Bill Belichick school of injuries,” Manning said, referring to the tight-lipped New England coach.

Manning got hit hard twice in the second quarter yesterday against the Washington Redskins. But he managed to shake it off and throw three touchdowns in the second half to rally the Colts to a 36-22 victory at RCA Dome after the Redskins led 14-13 at halftime. All told, Manning completed 25 of 35 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns.

The first hit came as he was being tackled by Andre Carter low and defensive end Phillip Daniels caught him high with a arm to the head that sent Manning’s helmet flying. The second occurred when Manning was leveled by Daniels late in the half, bringing a roughing-the-passer call. But it was the first one that did some damage as Manning had to call a timeout.

“It was one of the different types of hits I’ve had in my career,” Manning said. “I took the timeout and got it back together. The guy wouldn’t let go of my head. I looked at my helmet to see if my head was in it. He just wouldn’t let go of my head. It puts your body in an awkward position.”

Manning said the referee apologized for not seeing that hit.

“He said he was watching the ball, but it went 2 yards in front of me on [an incomplete pass],” the quarterback said.

The hit came on a second-and-8 play from the Washington 15.

“I took a timeout because any time you’re on the ground for an extended period of time, they make you come out for a play,” Manning said. “The ref told me that, and I said, ‘No, I’m taking a timeout.’ I did that my rookie year when I got the wind knocked out of me, and [former coach Jim] Mora yelled at me for wasting a timeout.”

After this timeout, the Colts ran the ball on third down for a 3-yard gain and settled for a 30-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead.

Manning has never missed a start in his NFL career and usually avoids big hits.

“We never like to see our quarterback hit,” Colts coach Tony Dungy said. “It’s something that we try to not have happen. He got hit a couple of times [yesterday], and fortunately he was fine. We hit their quarterback a few times, too, and that’s the name of the game when you’re on defense.”

Dungy said he asked Manning whether he was OK at halftime.

“He felt like he was fine, back to normal, and he was on fire in the third quarter,” Dungy said. Manning completed seven of eight passes for 138 yards in the quarter.

Manning said he felt the Colts would move the ball from the start.

“After the first drive, I felt like we were going to score a lot,” Manning said. “Some of the other drives in the first half, something happened here or there. One time we had a run for a loss. We had some third and longs.”

Manning said the offense was aggressive.

“We had a good mix of drop-back, play action and the run game,” he said. “We had them on their toes a little bit.”

Manning rejected any notion that the Colts were scoring at will.

“It’s always tough. It feels good to put up some points against a good team like that,” he said.

Dungy said the team was just a little out of sync in the first half, adding, “We got organized at halftime, and we were very sharp [afterward].”


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