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Colts Top Titans, Clinch Playoff Spot

By MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS - It was another perfect day for the Indianapolis Colts. All three triplets achieved milestones Sunday, their methodical offense shredded the Titans' young defense and Indy became the first NFL team to clinch a playoff spot by rolling to its 12th consecutive victory, 35-3.

Indianapolis (12-0) is now the fifth team in league history to start 12-0, the first since Denver in 1998, and again looked impressive as its historic quest for an undefeated season continued.

Tennessee (3-9) has now lost six straight to Indianapolis. If anyone wondered whether the Colts might have a letdown against the young, struggling Titans, they quickly erased those doubts.

Indy followed a physically dominant game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a second straight overwhelming performance. The Colts rushed for 105 yards, while allowing only 40 yards on the ground.

And, of course, it didn't take long for Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James to produce their usual show.

Manning completed 13 of 17 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 25 this season. That extended his own NFL record to eight straight seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes.

James carried 28 times for 107 yards and one touchdown, becoming the second fastest player in league history to 9,000 yards. He now has 9,067 yards in 93 games. Eric Dickerson reached the milestone in 82 games.

Harrison also joined the milestone club by becoming the 12th player in league history to top 12,000 yards receiving. He did that with his first reception, a 36-yarder on the Colts' opening drive, which also ended with Harrison's 10-yard TD reception _ extending the NFL record between the duo to 92. Harrison had four receptions for 61 yards.

It was that kind of day for the Titans. From miserable trick plays to failed fourth down conversions and a Colts' goal-line stand, little went right.

McNair was 22-of-33 for 220 yards, was sacked three times and knocked out for four plays in the third quarter with a bruised right shin. When he did return, the troubles continued. Early in the fourth quarter, McNair was sacked by Dwight Freeney, then lost the ball and watched helplessly as Larry Tripplett scooped it out of the air and raced 60 yards for a touchdown.

Manning connected with Harrison on the Colts' first series to make it 7-0, and Tennessee proved no match for the league's only unbeaten team.

On the Titans next series, Adam "Pacman" Jones was tackled for a 13-yard loss as he tried to throw the ball and Rob Bironas followed that by pushing a 51-yard field goal wide right.

Then Manning went back to work. This time, he led the Colts on a 59-yard drive and connected with Bryan Fletcher on a 13-yard TD pass to make it 14-0 late in the second quarter.

Tennessee closed to 14-3 on Bironas' 24-yard field goal just before halftime, but that wasn't nearly enough against a team that has averaged more than 35 points over the past nine weeks.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

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