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Colts have hands full vs. Peyton Manning

INDIANAPOLIS -- Let's get this out of the way now: There isn't a defense Peyton Manning hasn't seen during his career.

So don't think the Indianapolis Colts are going to suddenly come up with a scheme to shut Manning down.

He's the master at picking apart a defense. Don't let the defensive back show any signs of weakness because Manning will continue to pick on him over and over again. A short memory is required when facing Manning.

Manning is beatable. The Colts did it last season. The Seattle Seahawks put on a defensive clinic against him in the Super Bowl.

"He's a great player," said Colts safety Mike Adams, who was Manning's teammate the past two seasons in Denver. "He's going to be wearing that yellow jacket [in the Hall of Fame]. At the end of the day, you know he's going to make his plays. You could have great coverage, but he's going to stick it in there."

Manning will have one less weapon to throw to when the two teams meet Sunday in Denver. His favorite target, Wes Welker, is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Welker led the NFL with 89 targets out of the slot last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"It doesn't matter," Colts cornerback Darius Butler quickly said. "Peyton has plenty of other guys to throw the ball to."

Butler's right.

ESPN.com colleague Mike Sando pointed out that Manning had 16 touchdowns and only one interception when Welker was off the field last season. Manning still has receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas to go to.

Manning is averaging 362.3 yards passing in his last four season openers. He's thrown 13 touchdowns and only one interception in that span.

"He's an elite QB," Colts cornerback Greg Toler said. "He plays at a high level at all times. He studies film like no other. He may have started the hurry-up offense, no-huddle. You've just got to know the ball is going to bounce their way sometimes and we just want it to bounce our way a majority."

Manning threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns against the Colts last season. He put those numbers up with linebacker Robert Mathis on the field and Toler leaving the game in the second half with a groin injury. Mathis changed the game on one play when he recorded a strip-sack on Manning that led to a safety for the Colts.

Indianapolis won't have the sack master Sunday, as he's serving his four-game suspension.

Simply pressuring Manning won't be good enough. The Colts have to sack him, which is something they didn't do a lot of in the preseason. Mathis didn't play in the preseason, and the starting defense registered only two sacks.

"You've got to mix it up," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "It's got to be a combination of both. It's got to be a combination of both, and it's a tall order. It's very, very difficult. I just look at the preseason snaps; he only completed 80 percent of his snaps in preseason, so we really don't have that much to worry about, you know [laughs]? They never had to wash his uniform."