(AP) — Giving Andy Reid two weeks to prepare for a game has never failed
the Philadelphia Eagles.
and the Indianapolis Colts are no ordinary opponent, though.
became head coach in 1999, the Eagles are 11-0 following a bye. But
they've never beaten Manning during Reid's tenure, going 0-3.
to give when the Eagles (4-3) host the Colts (5-2) on Sunday.
good football team and Peyton's a big part of that," Reid said. "I have a
tremendous amount of respect for him, as does our team. He's intelligent
and he works very hard at his job and is very good at it. So you have to
make sure that you're on your 'A' game and you play hard and aggressive
for four quarters."
be making his 200th consecutive start in the regular season when the AFC
South-leading Colts visit hostile Lincoln Financial Field. The four-time
NFL MVP isn't slowing down in his 13th year. He's completed 65.9 percent
of his passes for 2,184 yards, thrown 15 touchdowns and only two
But the Colts
are coming off a quick turnaround. While the Eagles rested and prepared,
Indianapolis had a tough division game Monday night. The Colts beat
Houston 30-17 and immediately turned their attention toward Philadelphia.
"All we talked
about this week was it was a short week for us, and we have some guys
banged-up," Manning said. "They're coming off the bye week. Everything has
to be focused on just trying to get a win versus Philly — not thinking
about Houston, or not thinking about who we're playing the week after
that. It provides a tough challenge. I think you have to really work hard
to get your rest and get physically prepared to play, and you're kind of a
day behind on your mental preparation. But it's an opportunity to really
hone in and focus on your opponent."
secondary struggled in a 37-19 loss at Tennessee on Oct. 24. Veteran Kerry
Collins, filling in for an injured Vince Young, led the Titans back from a
nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter with 27 unanswered points. Kenny
Britt had three touchdown catches and 225 yards receiving — the most ever
Patterson is expected to make his first career start for injured
cornerback Ellis Hobbs, so Manning surely will test him instead of going
after Asante Samuel.
accurate and quick with the ball. It's the kind of challenge you love,"
said Samuel, a three-time Pro Bowl pick. "You want to compete against the
best, and he is the best."
The Colts are
equally concerned about the quarterback they'll be facing. Michael Vick
will make his first start since suffering a rib cartilage injury on Oct.
Vick, the NFC
offensive player of the month in September, has thrown for 799 yards, six
touchdowns and no interceptions, and compiled a passer rating of 108.8
with a 61.5 completion percentage. He also has 187 yards rushing and one
totally different entity than anybody we've seen play the position at this
point," Colts coach Jim Caldwell said. "There are quarterbacks that can
run. (Donovan) McNabb is a guy that can run. He can extend plays. He does
it with power. You hit him, he bounces off of you. He's a big guy.
particular case, Michael Vick can extend plays, but he does it with speed
and not only that, much like McNabb, he can hurt you down the field. Once
he gets out in the open field, he's a handful, difficult to handle. So,
yes, preparation for him is a lot different than anybody we've faced."
Manning clearly have different styles. Manning is arguably the best pocket
passer in NFL history. Vick is probably the best scrambler to play the
game. But Vick has shown significant improvement as a pure QB this season.
In two full games and parts of two others, he's played better than he did
when he went to three Pro Bowls with Atlanta.
against the best quarterback in the game, if you ask me, Peyton Manning,"
Vick said. "I watched him the other night against the Houston Texans, and
just an unbelievable job he did, just orchestrating the offense, getting
guys lined up, calling the plays. Like I said, this is what it's all
about. You've got to play against the best, and you've got to want to be
the best, so it's going to be a great matchup, very intriguing."
Vick may have
his top weapon back this week. Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson
returned to practice for the first time since sustaining a concussion on
Oct. 17 in a brutal collision with Atlanta's Dunta Robinson, and could
clicked better with Vick than with Kevin Kolb. Jackson has nine catches
for 288 yards and two TDs in the two games Vick has started and finished.
In the four other games he's played, Jackson has 10 receptions for 107
yards and one TD.
comes back and plays, I expect him to do great things, do what he's
capable of doing within a football game," Vick said. "We can't put all of
the pressure on DeSean to make plays for this club. We have 11 guys on
this offense and we all want to go out there and put it together ourselves
and help DeSean in the process. So we're all going to be pushing, putting
our best foot forward, trying to make this thing work."
The Colts are
a banged-up bunch heading into Philly. All-Pro tight end Dallas Clark is
done for the season. Receiver Austin Collie, running back Joseph Addai and
cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Jacob Lacey sat out against the Texans.
backup, Donald Brown, was limited to nine carries for 16 yards and
third-string running back Mike Hart left in the fourth quarter with an
ankle injury after running for a career-high 84 yards.
"You saw a lot
of new faces on (Monday), and you could see some even newer faces Sunday,"
Manning said. "We kind of found out as the week goes on who's going to be
available to play, and who's going to be able to practice. In some ways,
you have to kind of be flexible and kind of focus in on doing your job. I
still think we're continuing to form that (identity) and I think each
week, every game, has a little something unique about it. You just kind of
see as the game goes on what the identity for that game is going to be."