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Monday, December 27, 2010
How the run game helped Peyton Manning

By Paul Kuharsky

The Colts ran well again Sunday in Oakland, and when they run well, Peyton Manning can exploit a defense positioned to stop the run.

According to Trevor Ebaugh of ESPN Stats & Information, Manning entered Sunday with nine touchdowns, two interceptions and a 116.8 passer rating when there were seven or more defenders in the box.

In Oakland, he continued to take advantage of such situations and he got them because the run game was working -- turning 39 attempts into 191 yards.

Sunday against the Raiders, when the front included seven or more defenders, Manning was 8-for-10 with 9.0 yards per attempt. He threw three touchdowns and no picks and posted a 143.8 passer rating.

With six or fewer defenders in the box -- when the Raiders went with heavy coverage instead of concentrating on the run or the pass rush -- Manning hit on only 8 of 20 passes for 4.5 yards per attempt, both of his interceptions and a 14.4 passer rating.

As a division foe, the Titans are familiar with this trend. Tennessee will be much more willing to suffer at the hands of Joseph Addai, Dominic Rhodes or Donald Brown than Manning.