No rest on the sideline this time for Peyton Manning.
Back on the field the entire game after being relieved for the first time in his two-year career, Manning passed for 198 yards and one touchdown as the streaking Indianapolis Colts survived three turnovers and beat the New York Jets 13-6 Sunday.
"We made it closer than it should have been," said Manning, who was intercepted twice. "It's nice to win and still have a lot of room for improvment. We just need to make the corrections and stop the costly mistakes. We played hard, but didn't quite play smart enough.
It was the seventh straight victory for the Colts (9-2), the longest winning streak for the franchise since the Baltimore Colts won nine in a row in 1975. It put them a game ahead of the Dolphins going into an AFC East showdown next week at Miami.
"It's a nice feeling, but you want to be in first place at the end of the season, at the end of the playoffs," Manning said. "But obviously you have to put yourself in a position to be in first place, and we are. They don't get any bigger than next week at Miami."
Manning, who as a rookie in 1998 was the only NFL quarterback on the field for all of his team's offensive plays, had his streak ended after 1,590 snaps when he was relieved by Steve Walsh with a 44-3 third-quarter lead at Philadelphia last week.
But the Jets (4-7), who lost to Indianapolis 16-13 last month, didn't give Manning and Co. the luxury of a big lead. Manning had a 2-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Pollard in the first quarter, and a pair of field goals by Mike Vanderjagt were the only other points the Colts could manage.
ndianapolis has scored no fewer than 25 points against any other team but got just 29 in sweeping the Jets, who had won three in a row. The Colts came in as the NFL's top offensive team at 378 yards a game, but were held to a season-low 287.
"I knew this was going to be a difficult game," Colts coach Jim Mora said. "They're better than they were the first game, and we certainly didnt help ourselves. We made it tougher than we should have. We made some critical errors.
"Defensively, we played better than we did against them a few weeks ago. The defense didn't give up any big plays, and we played solid, consistent defense throughout the game."
New York moved to the Indianapolis 17 with a chance to tie in the closing minutes, but a holding penalty on Kerry Jenkins set the Jets back to the 27. Two long passes by Lucas were broken up in the end zone by Billy Austin, giving the Colts the ball on downs for the final 1:39.
"That was a play we practiced a thousand times, and I certainly expected to make that catch," the Jets' Wayne Chrebet said of the last pass. "It was just a dropped ball. Anytime you can get your hands on a ball and you don't bring it in, it is definitely a drop."
Edgerrin James, the NFL leader in total yards from scrimmage after a career-high 152 yards rushing against the Eagles, had 74 yards rushing and 53 yards in receptions. Manning's touchdown pass to Pollard gave him at least one scoring completion in 24 straight games, matching the sixth-longest streak in NFL history.
"This is horrible. We gave this game away," Lucas said. "Offensively, we just didn't get it done, and as the leader of the offense, I take that upon me. We had all the opportunities in the world."
Lucas was 12-for-22 for 102 yards, the fewest yards passing the Colts have allowed all season.
"When you hold this team to 13 points you should win," Jets coach Bill Parcells said. "This is the worst loss of the season. It should have been better for us."
The Jets' only points came on first-quarter field goals by John Hall. Vanderjagt kicked a 22-yard field goal with one second to go in the half, his club-record 14th in a row, and he made it 15 straight field goals with a 37-yarder for the final points with nine minutes left in the final period.
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