Colts77014 -- 2849ers0030 -- 3
Against a struggling opponent with a rookie quarterback and a patchwork defense, Peyton Manning and the Colts were only as good as they needed to be against host San Francisco.
Edgerrin James rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown, and Indianapolis intercepted four passes by No. 1 draft pick Alex Smith.
While Smith's struggles were predictable in his first career start, the Colts' problems were surprising -- but not a big deal. Manning went 23 of 31 for 255 yards and one score, throwing two interceptions in an unimpressive performance against a team starting two recent practice squad players in its secondary.
The reigning league MVP also failed to hook up with Marvin Harrison for the duo's 86th touchdown, which would have broken the NFL record shared with San Francisco's Steve Young and Jerry Rice.
But the Colts scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns on James's four-yard run and Troy Walters's 18-yard reception to blow open a surprisingly close game. Cato June returned an interception 24 yards for a score in the second quarter, and Dominic Rhodes rushed for an early touchdown.
Smith, promoted to the starting lineup after a month of mediocrity from Tim Rattay, never got comfortable behind San Francisco's terrible offensive line. He completed just 9 of 23 passes for 74 yards and committed five turnovers while getting sacked five times.
Indianapolis: Rhodes 6 run (Vanderjagt kick), 7:41.
Indianapolis: June 24 interception return (Vanderjagt kick), 6:29.
San Francisco: FG Nedney 30, 9:41.
Indianapolis: James 4 run (Vanderjagt kick), 14:55.
Indianapolis: Walters 18 pass from Manning (Vanderjagt kick), 5:58.
Colts49ersFirst Downs 2212Total Net Yards 365177Rushes-Yards 28-12028-133Passing 24544Punt Returns 3-161-7Kickoff Returns 0-05-101Interceptions Ret. 4-522-13Comp-Att-Int 23-31-29-23-4Sacked-Yards Lost 1-105-30Punts 2-41.55-41.6Fumbles-Lost 1-12-1Penalties-Yards 10-807-40Time Of Possession 30:5229:08 RUSHING
Indianapolis: James 21-105, Rhodes 5-18, Sorgi 2-(minus 3).
San Francisco: Barlow 18-99, Gore 8-31, A.Smith 2-3.
Indianapolis: Manning 23-31-2-255.
San Francisco: A.Smith 9-23-4-74.
Indianapolis: Wayne 6-75, Stokley 6-59, James 4-42, Clark 3-36, Harrison 2-17, Walters 1-18, Rhodes 1-8.
San Francisco: Barlow 3-29, Gore 1-14, Morton 1-13, Bush 1-10, Beasley 1-6, Hetherington 1-2, Bajema 1-0.
MISSED FIELD GOALS