Share This Page

Colts QB Manning nears major milestone

INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning makes milestones seem routine.

Winning three MVPs and in position for a record fourth• Just another typical Manning season.

Breaking John Unitas' franchise record for wins, passing Fran Tarkenton for third on the career TD list, moving past Warren Moon and John Elway for third on the career completions chart• All part of the job.

Now Manning can become the fourth member of the NFL's 50,000-yard club — if he plays long enough to throw for 159 yards Sunday against the New York Jets.

Not that Manning is thinking about it.

"We're right in the middle of the season, and there's so much going on, so much at stake," he said Wednesday. "Coach (Jim) Caldwell's instructions were the same as they have been each week: 'Here's what we've got to do to win the ballgame, now please go out and do it.' "

Neither Manning nor Caldwell have said how long the quarterback will play.

On any other week, even against the league's No. 1 pass defense, 159 yards would seem like a sure thing.

But with the Colts wrapping up the AFC's top seed two weeks ago, Indy's biggest concern is keeping its starters healthy for the playoffs, and nobody will say if the starters will be pulled early.

Clearly, there are still some significant things at stake Sunday.

A win would make Indy the second team in league history to go 15-0 in the regular season and would wrap up a perfect home season for only the second time since the franchise moved from Baltimore. The other time was 2006, when the Colts won the Super Bowl.

Players are also chasing individual goals, incentive bonuses and perhaps some postseason awards.

Three-time Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne needs eight receptions for his second 100-catch season. Tight end Dallas Clark needs three yards for his first 1,000-yard season, and 11 catches to reach 100. With three more catches, Pierre Garcon would become the fifth Colts receiver with 50 catches this season, a first in franchise history.

And then there's Manning, who needs one more 300-yard game to tie the single season record (10), set by Rich Gannon in 2002 and matched last year by Drew Brees. Manning also had a 299-yard game against Baltimore last month.

The more likely scenario, however, is Manning joining Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Elway in the exclusive 50,000 club — a number that boggles the mind of those who know Manning best.

"Wow! That's impressive," Clark said. "But with him, you really don't get shocked too much."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.