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Colts Rout Ravens


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Colts Rout Ravens; Return to Playoffs

e381b50780f9c8a59f1509e95e3d6f38.jpg Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) hands off to running back...




The Indianapolis Colts strolled back into the playoffs with a performance that fully displayed just how far the Baltimore Ravens have fallen in 11 months.

Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes, including the 300th of his career, and the Colts built a 30-point lead in the second quarter en route to a 44-20 victory Sunday night.

The win, combined with Tennessee's loss to San Diego earlier in the day, assured the Colts (11-2) a sixth consecutive trip to the postseason.

Baltimore (4-9) has lost a franchise-record seven straight. Coming off an inspired effort in a 27-24 loss to the unbeaten New England Patriots, the Ravens committed five turnovers, had a punt blocked and managed only 57 yards in offense through the first 30 minutes.

At halftime, with Indianapolis leading 37-7 and a driving rain making things even more uncomfortable for the home fans, well over half the crowd of 70,513 headed for the exits.

In the playoffs last January, Indianapolis failed to score a touchdown in a 15-6 victory that eliminated the Ravens. In the rematch, the Colts scored three TDs in the first quarter and two more in the second.

Manning was magnificent. After going 12-for-16 for 209 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, he followed a Baltimore turnover with a 40-yard TD pass to rookie Anthony Gonzalez to make it 44-7 with 12:37 left in the third quarter.

That ended Manning's night. He finished 13-for-17 for 249 yards and became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to throw 300 touchdown passes.

Joseph Addai scored three touchdowns, on a 19-yard reception and runs of 1 and 11 yards. Gonzalez, replacing the injured Marvin Harrison, scored the first two touchdowns of his career and had six catches for 134 yards.

Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. He was 5-for-8 for 17 yards in the decisive first half, and 19-for-25 for 132 yards and a touchdown overall.

Boller was replaced by 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith with 2:21 left. Making his NFL debut, Smith capped a 41-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run.

The Ravens played without injured cornerback Chris McAlister, who missed his fifth game in the last seven with a knee injury. Manning began tormenting McAlister's replacement, David Pittman, on the Colts' first drive.

After completing a third-down pass to Gonzalez in front of Pittman, Manning threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne, who easily beat Pittman down the right sideline.

Baltimore's first possession ended when Willis McGahee fumbled after being hit by Robert Mathis. Marlin Jackson took the loose ball 21 yards to the Baltimore 12, and two plays later Addai scored from the 1 to make it 14-0 with less than six minutes elapsed.

Boller was then intercepted by Gary Brackett, whose 49-yard return set up a touchdown pass to Addai, the 300th of Manning's career. Baltimore's next possession ended with a blocked punt that rolled out of the end zone, upping the Colts' lead to 23-0.

Addai's second touchdown run boosted the margin to 30 points, and Baltimore's Yamon Figurs returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. Later in the quarter, however, Gonzalez burned Pittman on a 57-yard touchdown catch.

At that point, Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan removed Pittman from the game.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

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