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Manning Struggles In Pro Debut

Peyton Manning's first pass went for a touchdown. After that, it was strictly a learning experience for Archie's kid.

Manning, the first pick in this year's NFL draft, met with limited success in his Colts debut as Indianapolis lost 24-21 to the Seattle Seahawks in an exhibition game Saturday night.

"I need to play a little bit better," Manning admitted. "A couple of times, I didn't finish up some throws. We didn't move the ball very well."

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  • Manning completed 8 of 15 passes for 113 yards and was outplayed by Jon Kitna, Seattle's third-year quarterback earning the league minimum of $216,000 -- a pittance compared to Manning's record $11.6 million signing bonus.

    "Matbe he might have been a little bit confused," coach Jim Mora said of Manning. "He might not have been sure of what he was doing or what the coverages were. Maybe the tempo was a little quick for him. It did seem like he was a little crisp with his throws."

    After four handoffs to Marshall Faulk on his first series, Manning hit a streaking Marvin Harrison at the Seattle 38 for a 48-yard touchdown pass that gave the Colts a shortlived 7-3 lead with 6:43 gone.

    "He didn't play good enough," Mora said. "There's no question about it."

    Manning, who received a six-year contract that could be worth almost $48 million, was intercepted by cornerback Fred Thomas in the second quarter before being replaced by Kelly Holcomb.

    The olts went 3-and-out on Manning's other four series. On the first play of the second quarter, Manning fumbled without being hit, but the ball was recovered by guard Tony Mandarich.

    "That was kind of a rare, freak play," Manning said of his fumble. "The ball just slipped out of my hand."

    Manning had a 36-yard completion to rookie Jerome Pathon in the second quarter.

    Thomas played against Manning in college. He said he thought Manning was going to become a top pro.

    "He's going to be something special," Thomas said. "He's a big, strong guy who starts his career with a touchdown on his first pass."

    Kitna, who played four series, completed 9 of 13 passes for 92 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Mike Pritchard in the first quarter that put Seattle ahead to stay, 10-7.

    "I didn't make any mental mistakes," Kitna said. "That was the best thing."

    The Seahawks played their second preseason game without their No. 1 quarterback, Warren Moon, 41. Moon has refused to report to the team's training camp in a contract holdout.

    "He's 41. Maybe he wants another week off," Kitna said of Moon.

    Kitna was signed by the Seahawks as a free agent after playing at Central Washington University. He admired Manning's first game.

    "He played pretty well from what I saw," he said. "I know from experience that the pace of the game kind of shocks you. That may have hurt him after his first touchdown pass."

    Seattle (2-0), trying to put together a playoff season for the first time since 1988, got a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown from Joey Galloway and a 15-yard TD pass from John Friesz in the first half.

    "If other returns are as well blocked, we're going to have a lot of fun," said Galloway, who did not return punts last season because the Seahawks were afraid he'd get injured.

    The Colts (0-1) also scored on a 15-yard pass from Holcomb to Torrance Small in the third quarter when the Seahawks' reserves were on the field.

    With 2:05 gone in the final quarter, Kendell Shello ran back a fumble by Ahman Green 24 yards for a touchdown that pulled Indianapolis within a field goal.

    The Seahawks lost two defensive starters in the first half. Cornerback Willie Williams suffered a sprained ankle and linebacker Chad Brown left with a lower back sprain.

    Wide receiver James McKnight of the Seahawks received a bruised hip and Colts backup running back Lamont Warren sprained his right ankle in the opening half.

    Mora called Warren's injury "a pretty severe sprain."

    Seahawks coach Dennis Erickson said none of his team's injuries were serious.

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