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Peyton back on top of game in time for Raiders

News, notes, quotes and observations Thursday as the Raiders prepare to face Indianapolis:

— Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has recovered nicely since his three-game stretch which (gasp!) actually removed him from the race as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

Manning threw 11 interceptions in three games, the Colts were on the cusp of not making the playoffs for the first time in eight years, and the one of the league’s ambassadors as well as an advertising icon seemed to be on the downside of a brilliant career.

Not so fast.

Indianapolis is back in control of its destiny, having beaten Tennessee (30-28) and Jacksonville (30-24) with an 8-6 record, during which time Manning is 54 of 74 for 548 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

The two-time defending league MVP will give way to Tim Brady or Michael Vick this year, but it probably has as much to do with an injury-ravaged supporting cast than signs of slippage from Manning.

“Somebody asked me if I was in a slump, and I said, well, yes, maybe I was,’’ Manning told the NFL Network after beating the Titans. “But I’d been on about an eight- and a half-year streak before that.’’

Manning already has career highs in attempts (608) and completions (407) with two games to play and is completing 66.9 percent of his passes.

The Colts are running the ball better of late, but have struggled on the ground and have often played from behind, necessitating an offense even more pass-heavy than usual.

Beyond the sheer numbers is Manning’s ability to dictate the pace of a game. He’ll dominate the game from the line of scrimmage, tricking defenses into having too many men on the field. He can run a two-minute drill to come from behind or a four-minute offense to kill the clock with equal effectiveness.

“I think when you play Peyton Manning, you’ve got to do what you do best,’’ defensive coordinator John Marshall said. “It’s been my experience that you can almost screw yourself up. You can almost get too much into disguising and trying to trick him with this coverage or that.

“Once you go through a series with him you’re not going to trick him anymore. He’s wired into you. So you’ve got to go out and play. You get matched up and play.’’

Here’s how Manning assessed the Oakland defense talking to Indianapolis reporters:

“It’s a pretty classic Oakland Raiders defense. Very aggressive, some great athletes all over the field, a lot of speed, a lot of size. They are playing with a lot of momentum. The Jacksonville game could have easily gone their way. They’re playing at home, are right in thick of the playoff chase as we are, so I know it’s going to be a tough ballgame.’’

– Indianapolis had a 129-yard rushing game from Donald Brown against Jacksonville and gets Joseph Addai back this week, giving the Colts at least a semblance of balance.

But for the most part, it’s been Manning controlling the ball through the air with perennial Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne (99 receptions, 12,47 yards, 5 TDs) and a revolving cast of other receivers.

Austin Collie (54 receptions, 649 yards, 8 TDs) was ruled out for the season after his third concussion and the Colts lost standout Dallas Clark (37-343-3) earlier in the year. When Clark went down, Jacob Tamme was plugged in and has 53 passes for 486 yards.

“I think as long as you’ve got No. 18 driving the car, you can never let your guard down,’’ cornerback Stanford Routt said. “One thing that makes him such a Hall of Famer is that he makes his receivers better.’’

— Turns out Marshall was the defensive line coach in Indianapolis in 1987 when Cable was a replacement player offensive lineman for the Colts.

How good was Cable as a player?

Marshall first said he couldn’t remember, then caught himself, “He was great. Dominant. Big, dominant man.’’

It was so long ago Cable’s memory needs work. He said in a conference call the Colts won all three replacement games, while they actually won two of three.

– Punter Shane Lechler and Richard Seymour, both with hamstring strains, although it sounds the odds of seeing Lechler Sunday are better than seeing Seymour.

Right tackle Langston Walker also didn’t practice and will take a concussion test Friday morning, Cable said.

Lechler has been on the field and took turns throwing to defensive backs today. Seymour wasn’t round during the media window either Wednesday or Thursday and hasn’t been seen in the locker room during media availability.

Cable said of Lechler, “I feel good about it right now. How sure I am, we’ll see tomorrow or Saturday. But I know he’s improving and I feel good about it.’’

As for the level of optimism regarding Seymour, Cable said, “That’s kind of touch and go, still.’’

Those who were limited at practice included cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), and wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins (ankle). Players listed as injured but with full participation were tight end Zach Miller (foot), cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) and safety Mike Mitchell (ribs).

Cable wouldn’t commit to Nick Miller as his punt return specialist over Higgins, although he had a 22 yard return against Denver. The Raiders are ranked 25th in punt return average at 7.3 per return.

“We’ll see where we are with both of them on Sunday but I thought he did a nice job for sure,’’ Cable said.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    GOOD MORNING SPORT’S FAN’S.MERRY X-MAS 2 U AND YOUR NEW FAMILY MEMBER ROCKSTAR..INDY CAN BE BEAT, SAME OLD STORY..HANG ON 2 THE BALL..NO DUMB PENALTY’S..

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!
    To all the usuals…Rockstar, Dirt Lot…i check it as the morning goes through…Good Morning to you Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!
    Djohnnyg…post 198…RIGHT ON! I saw that post in here and thought … why is this person here and say that? Of course its up to the parent…I have taken my kids to a Raider tailgate with their mom…but not inside yet! My son is dying to go in with me…There is nothing wrong with the Riaders!!! People who don’t like Al should just keep that crap to themselves!

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    RRS..

    with Routt and Johnson as CB?, I highly doubt it, Manning is going to shred us apart…

    only thing going for us is that indy run-D is cr5ppy as he11

  • hwnrdr

    You know that the rule for keeping Manning off the field for being the best D against him…although true, but he has won a game this year that he was only on the field for 15 minutes…Its just getting harder to beat this guy, but I believe the Raiders can get it done!!!

  • hwnrdr

    Good Afternoon LMN! Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Merry Christmas Raider Nation!

    Yes, Tom Cable was a scab. He was a member of the 1987 Indianapolis Colts strike replacement team. He did not play in the two games he was on the team’s active roster. Was not good enough to even play as a strike-breaker. LMFAO

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    THAT IS THO OLD ADDAGE EXLA..THOSE WHO CAN NOT PLAY–COACH..HAPPY HOLLIDAY’S 2 U ALSO.

  • Plunketthead
  • raiderfankirk

    The real maddenraider, why don’t you change your name too the real raider hater. Why the f would you say their done when their not f face. STFU!!!

  • raiderfankirk

    196 right on brother!!!

  • Just Fire Baby

    If Tommy Cable wins at least one of these last two games, and screws over and knocks out either the Chiefs or Colts, than he will receive COY votes.

    Not any first-place votes, but I wouldn’t be suprised if he got 4th or 5th place in the voting.

    On the flip-side, if he loses both of these games, he may get canned.

    Quite the heads or tails.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    208.Plunketthead Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 7:21 am
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dnwb_hyOhyc/SorA6Y7dR5I/AAAAAAAAAfY/TAF2tYwbaJ4/s400/cable.jpg

    Merry Christmas and A Tom Cable New year

    ===============================
    Scary Sh*t!! lol

  • ghosttothepost

    EYoung Says: If I were a father of young children again, I would not take my kids to Raiders games because I would not want them to learn what the Raiders and AD are really about. I would want to inspire my kids with higher values.

    If someday AD is replaced by someone with admirable qualitiies, and the Raiders begin to win more games than they lose, then fans will return. Until then I would not take my kids to a game and I would not support building a new stadium.

    ****************************************************
    eyoung is a moralist and a mental midget.

    Although I am not an Al Davis defender, he certainly possesses admirable qualities — he is one of the most loyal owners in the history of the NFL.

    He also is the same man who sat by his dying wife’s bedside, refusing to leave under any circumstances … people who spew garbage by basing opinions on perception make me want to scream.

    by the way eyoung, if you are inspiring your kids with values at an NFL football game, you’re as big an idiot who has ever walked the face of the earth anyway

  • ghosttothepost

    JFB .. Tom Cable had done a darn decent job … I never expected him to get this team to 7 wins … I’m not a huge Cable fan, but he deserves some credit at least for his stick-to-itiveness

  • ghosttothepost

    is anybody in raider nation breathing?

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Al Davis also paid for 100 ex-Raiders to come to Oakland to pay homage to the late George Blanda the weekend of the whiner game. All expenses paid.

    Eyoung get a life!

  • ghosttothepost

    thanks exla .. that guy sounds like a whiners fan ..

  • raiderfankirk

    If you don’t like Al then you don’t like the Raiders.Al Davis is the Oakland Raiders!!!!

  • YoungAmerican

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/12/24/johnathan-joseph-does-not-mind-the-franchise-tag/

    Joseph might not even hit free agency.

    Raiders might need to bring Routt back by default, unless they decide to move in on Champ Bailey or Eric Wright.

  • ghosttothepost

    AD is what he is … he’s probably a grumpy old man … i mean at his age, nothing works so good anymore … his brain seems sharp, though — at least judging by this year’s draft, which was phenomenal … In his prime, AD was a maverick — a difference-maker for the entire NFL … the bad boy image of the raiders was not built by Al, it was built by the players during the Santa Rosa camp days … they were wild and crazy guys — and they rocked … there’s plenty of jealousy aimed at the raiders because they were good AND TOUGH for so many years …

  • ghosttothepost

    it does my heart good to see the passion coming back in the players … Grove texting chris johnson to make sure the Titans are focused for their game against the Chefs … that’s pride & poise .. that’s the style we’ve been looking to regain

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Is Oakhole blacked out again for Xmas? No Santa?

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Hey if Jerry Brown couldn’t fix Oakhole no one can…

    Fix the town or move the Raiders!

  • ghosttothepost

    Here’s a Christmas present for you guys.
    It’s an excerpt from a story I wrote about Freddy B.
    Fred’s roomate Pete Banaszak (The Rooster) told me the story.
    It’s quite funny:

    We were in training camp and Fred wanted to sneak out one night after bed check,” Banaszak said.

    Banaszak told Biletnikoff he was not going because he was too tired.

    “Fred said, ‘I’ve got to get out of here and have a few beers.’”

    Biletnikoff had a foolproof plan for his great escape.

    “He rolled up two pillows and put them under the covers so they’d look like legs. He took another pillow to simulate his body, and used a lamp for his shoulders. He’s never had any hair and usually wore a baseball cap to bed anyway, so he put the cap on top of the lamp.

    “(Coach John) Madden always did double-bed checks, and he’d always do it himself. He never sent an assistant because he was afraid we’d pay them off,” Banszak continued.

    “After Fred left, I could hear Madden coming down the hall. We could always tell it was Madden because he never tied his shoes and he shuffled. He put the key in the door, opened it and flipped on the light switch.

    “And the lamp lit up in Fred’s bed – he forgot to unplug it.”

    Bansazak said Madden just stood there and stared for 5 minutes, turned around and went back to his office.

    “At the team meeting the next day, Madden says, “By the way, bed check last night -Biletnikoff, that’ll cost you $1,000. Your head lit up,’” Banaszak said.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Bo Schembechler Jackson,
    Did it warm your heart that the 5 Buckeyes were suspended? Selling the gold pants given to them when they beat the Wolverines. Like how many gold pants does 1 guy need.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    lol

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Exla it is shameful that the suspensions start next year and apply to their first 5 patsy games. Bo-GUS…

    And what kind of team gives out gold pants? A preppie team coached by a preppie. Weak.

  • Just Fire Baby

    The Raider thug image is way overblown, IMO.

    Go to Philly, or a New York game and you see the same type of violence.

    Only difference is that the Raiders-fan fighters are more blue-collar, while a New York fan fight is a bunch of white-collar wall street guys losing control for the weekend.

  • Just Fire Baby

    LOL….the gold pants are not actual pants.

    It is a term for some type of charm, trinket thing OSU gives out yearly….I mean when they beat Michigan.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    1st game Akron( 2nd Game, Toledo
    Game 3 Colorado. Game 4 Univ of Miami Game 5
    Michigan St. Easy part of the schedule last against Michigan. LOL

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Duh Vegas. A CHARM, TRINKET for a football player?

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 8:44 am
    The Raider thug image is way overblown, IMO.

    Go to Philly, or a New York game and you see the same type of violence.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Perhaps, but only in Oakland is the stadium safer than the town, shops, restaurants, etc…

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    If Pryor gave the money to his mom to help support her and it did not go for the tattoos, I am willing to give him a pass. At least he didn’t do a Maurice Clarett!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    No wonder all you Nancy Boys pull for the suckeyes… They should rename them the Charm Bracelets.

  • Just Fire Baby

    The OSU players should have had Cam Newton’s dad sell the items for them. Seems that is the way to avoid any repercussions.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 8:50 am
    If Pryor gave the money to his mom to help support her

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    His mom? She got plenty of $$$. I tip well.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Anyway, again to all in the Raider Nation (including BSJ), a Merry Christmas.
    Go Raider’s!
    Go Laker’s
    Go Buckeye’s!

    I’m out

  • hwnrdr

    Not necessarily true, Bo…lol
    Merry Christmas Raider Nation!!!
    To those of you who’ll be out there on Sunday…see you there!
    Dirt Lot, I will give you a call for a beer or 10!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Pryor sold his charm bracelet so his mama wouldn’t have to answer Delonte West’s phone calls…

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    236.Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 8:53 am
    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 8:50 am
    If Pryor gave the money to his mom to help support her

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    His mom? She got plenty of $$$. I tip well.

    =========================================
    50cents on a $10.00 meal is not tipping well after you used a half price coupon.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Happy Holidays y’all…

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    50cents on a $10.00 meal is not tipping well after you used a half price coupon.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    It is at Mickey D’s…

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Now I’m out to the grocers. Filets on the grill and lasagna tonite…

  • Just Fire Baby

    In-laws are doing the whole Italian/Catholic 13 different fish on Christmas Eve tradition.

    I will gladly eat the food, get smashed and make sure to distant myself from any talk of the Apostle or whatever it is they are trying to get at.

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    # hwnrdr Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Good Afternoon LMN! Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to you and your family!
    ________________________________________________________

    you to mate! Ive just been to the yearly church thing, waiting for the christmas dinner… the Tree is decorated, and later tonight is the presents-sharing thingy… Now I just stole a stole a few minutes to see whats happening out in the world… I feel a bit isolated here at my GF’s sisters house surrounded with a foot and ahalf snow all over, but it sure is picturesque..

    to the rest of the NATION, merry Christmas, but I guess thats the 25th for most of you..

  • raidertay

    The only way to beat Peyton is to keep him off the field. It will all be contingent upon DMAC and Bush.

    The more Peyton is on the field the more likely he will eventually strike gold.

  • Just Fire Baby

    If you can get 1 turnover, 3 punts, and 3 FG attempts out of the Colts offense, that is probably a pretty good day.

  • Raider Dell

    Trade Jon Condo for some Lasagna.

  • DKnight007

    14.The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 4:52 pm
    # DKnight007 Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    12.The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    Plunkethead and Nnamdi,

    If the economy’s to blame for the empty seats, what do you guys blame for the empty seats before the 2008 crash? What do you blame for the empty seats in the 1999 season, when America was in its most prosperous time in history?

    ^^^^^^^^
    PSL’S??

    LOL!

    ……….

    Fair enough. That takes care of the late ’90s. What about the time between ending the PSLs in 2005 and the economic crash in the summer of 2008?

    It wasn’t the economy. Granted, Americans should have been tightening the belt, because wages started going down drastically the minute Bush took office, but nonetheless, Americans were spending money like drunken sailors up till the summer of ‘08, everyone had access to credit. Part of what led to the crash in the first place.

    It wasn’t the PSL. It no longer existed. Since 2005 Raider tickets have been available at competitive prices.

    So, riddle me…why were so many games between 2005 and 2008 blacked out?

    Dig down deep, deep, deep into your bag of excuses and let’s see what you can come up with this time. I’ll wait.

    ^^^^^^^
    Old looney man Al’s fault for getting rid of Gruden and putting a piss poor product on the field and going thru coaches like it was his adult diapers.

  • DKnight007

    246.raidertay Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 9:08 am
    The only way to beat Peyton is to keep him off the field. It will all be contingent upon DMAC and Bush.

    The more Peyton is on the field the more likely he will eventually strike gold.

    ^^^^^^^^
    Exactly.

    Control time of possesion on offense, run the ball, get 1st downs, score TD’s, no turnovers.

    On defense, try to put consistent pressure on Manning up the middle to get him of his rythem.

    Man up tight on his WR’s and watch out for double moves by the his WR’s.