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Manning Rallies Colts Past Jets


At the end, it wasn't Peyton Manning's name the Indianapolis Colts were calling out. It wasn't Marcus Pollard's, either.

As the Colts ran into the locker room after Pollard's touchdown catch gave them a 24-23 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday, they began chanting "Iron-head, Iron-head," paying tribute to fullback Craig Heyward, who underwent surgery on Thursday for a benign tumor at the base of his skull.

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Game summary

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  • The Colts awarded the game ball to Heyward, who remained in serious but stable condition at Methodist Hospital. He was expected to stay in the hospital at least until Monday.

    "Talk about the odds being against us ... we kept believing something good would happen, and it finally did," said Manning, who passed for three touchdowns, including 14 yards for the game-winner to Pollard with 24 seconds to go.

    "We stopped ourselves some in the first half. It was just a matter of being patient and getting a chance to win in the fourth quarter," Manning said. "Marcus is a great athlete. I thought he would have a chance to drive it in the end zone."

    Pollard, the Colts' tight end, appeared stopped just short of the goal line, but stretched his arms into the end zone before he hit the ground, tying the game. Mike Vanderjagt, whose missed field goal at the end of the first half led to one New York touchdown, then kicked the extra point to and snap a four-game Jets winning streak.

    "It was will and determination," Pollard said. "I had to make the play, or we lose."

    The Colts (2-8) drove 80 yards on their final possession. Manning, the first pick in this year's draft, also had touchdown passes of 4 yards to Torrance Small in the first quarter and 38 yards to Marvin Harrison in the third period and finished 26-of-44 for 276 yards.

    After Pollard's touchdown, the Jets reached their 47-yard line before Vinny Testaverde fumbled the snap and the Colts' Al Fontenot recovered with six seconds remaining.

    "We deserved to get beat," Jets coach Bill Parcells said. "We ween't sharp. The receivers couldn't catch, we couldn't tackle."

    "That's a big loss for us, a big step back. I'm just really, really disappointed."

    The Jets (6-4) seemed to have the game in control after Aaron Glenn returned a missed field goal by Vanderjagt an NFL-record 104 yards for a touchdown.

    "I had the easy job. I just ran. Everybody else did all the work. They blocked for me," said Glenn, who also had a fourth-quarter interception. "All that sounds good, but when you lose, it takes away from the excitement."

    The Jets scored 10 points in the last 22 seconds of the first half, starting with a 25-yard field goal by John Hall that put them up 16-10. The Colts reached the New York 46 after a 15-yard run by Manning, but with one second to go, a 63-yard field goal attempt by Vanderjagt was short.

    Glenn caught the ball four yards deep in the end zone and returned it for a touchdown, breaking the NFL record of 101 yards by Philadelphia's Al Nelson against Dallas in 1971.

    After the Colts cut a 23-10 New York halftime lead to 23-17 and threatened midway through the final period, Glenn grabbed a deep pass by Manning at the Jets 20.

    Testaverde, unbeaten in his first six starts with New York, was intercepted once, on his first pass of the game, and sacked four times. But he used big plays for each of the first three scores by the Jets, including a 26-yard pass to Wayne Chrebet that set up the first of three field goals by Hall.

    The touchdown pass from Manning to Small gave Indianapolis a 10-3 lead after one quarter, but the Jets tied it with a 63-yard completion to Chrebet. On the next New York possession, Testaverde hit Chrebet for 15 yards and Keyshawn Johnson for 22 and 33 yards, setting up a 40-yard field goal by Hall for a 13-10 lead.

    Hall's third field goal, the 25-yarder late in the half, came 12 plays after Otis Smith's interception off Manning, and the 104-yard return by Glenn gave the Jets the 23-10 lead at the half.

    Notes

    Manning has had seven straight games with at least one TD pass, tying the most by an NFL rookie since 1970. ... Colts guard Tony Mandarich hurt his back in the first half and left the game. ... Jets RB Leon Johnson, who had three touchdowns in an earlier victory over the Colts this season, missed his second straight game because of a knee injury. ... Marshall Faulk rushed for 69 yards and caught eight passes for 70 yards, his Colts-record 71st straight game with at least one catch.

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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