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Manning Feasts on Lions' Defense

Colts Quarterback Throws for 6 TDs In Thanksgiving Rout: Colts 41, Lions 9

By Larry Lage
Associated Press
Friday, November 26, 2004; Page D01

DETROIT, Nov. 25 -- Peyton Manning barks and gestures at the line of scrimmage, adjusting to defenses and changing play calls.

It might seem like chaos, but he's in complete control. Blitzing linebackers or disguised coverages don't faze him. Manning truly seems flustered only when he's far from the field, standing in a locker room to talk about his remarkable performances.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning sets an NFL record by throwing at least four touchdown passes in a fifth straight game as he totals six on Thanksgiving to thrash the Lions, 41-9. (Reuters)

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In his latest brilliant display, Manning threw for six touchdowns in less than three quarters and raised his season total to 41 touchdown passes, leading the Indianapolis Colts past the Detroit Lions, 41-9, on Thursday.

He set an NFL record with at least four touchdown passes in a fifth straight game -- and he did it by halftime. Dan Marino had a four-game streak with at least four touchdowns in 1984, when he also set a league mark with 48 touchdown passes in a season.

"I feel uncomfortable talking about anything individual," said Manning, almost pleading to change the subject. "I just want to keep winning."

Connecting with Marvin Harrison and Brandon Stokley three times each for touchdowns, Manning finished 23 of 28 for 236 yards and no interceptions for the AFC South-leading Colts (8-3).

Look at the performance this way: Manning had more touchdown passes than incompletions.

"He's the best that's ever played this game as far as quarterbacks are concerned," Stokley said. "When he's retired, they'll compare everybody to Peyton Manning, without a doubt."

The reeling Lions (4-7) didn't help themselves by fumbling four times in their territory, missing a field goal and stalling repeatedly in the red zone.

Fittingly, backup quarterback Mike McMahon fumbled on the final play of the game before scooping up the football and throwing an interception in the end zone to cap what's now a five-game losing streak.

"This is the pinnacle of those five losses," cornerback Fernando Bryant said.

The Colts replaced Manning with Jim Sorgi late in the third quarter. Otherwise, the QB would have had a shot at tying the NFL record of seven touchdown passes in a game, shared by five players: Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp.

Manning matched the Colts record he set in September 2003 against New Orleans, his father's old team. Before that performance, no one had thrown for six touchdowns in an NFL game in a dozen years.

With five regular season games left, Manning has already matched Kurt Warner for third-most touchdown passes in a season. Marino threw 44 touchdowns in 1986.


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