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Monday, November 23, 2009
Situational Manning (updated)

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Two great notes from the NFL out of the Colts' win at Baltimore Sunday:
Now, as we’ve come to expect, quality situational review from ESPN Stats & Information on Manning.

Manning was held to just an 85.3 overall passer rating Sunday at Baltimore, but he did great when the Ravens rushed aggressively, as they like to do.

Entering Sunday, the Ravens had brought an overload pressure or blitz (six or more pass rushers, at least one from the secondary) on 12.1 percent of opposing pass attempts.

Baltimore brought an overload on 16.1 percent of Peyton Manning's pass attempts, with disastrous results.

Most quarterbacks get worse in the red zone, where pressure rises and space shrinks. But Manning kept up a season-long trend of playing with extra precision once the Colts moved inside their opponents’ 20-yard line. Manning had 10 TDs and 1 interception in the red zone coming into Sunday.

The Ravens were able to keep the score close despite a poor offensive showing partly because of Manning's ineffectiveness when using play action. Entering Week 11, Manning had the fifth-highest passer rating on play action passes with a minimum of 20 attempts.

That’s really remarkable when you consider that the Colts don’t generally run the ball very well, which means players in the secondary should be less prone to bite on play-action against the league’s best quarterback.

One more note of interest:

Dallas Clark lined up detached from the line of scrimmage on 31 of Indianapolis' 56 offensive plays. Clark's only reception of the day was a one-handed grab in the end zone. But even if Manning wasn’t hitting Clark, he operated much more effectively when Clark was out wide.

Manning completed 14 of 18 passes for 220 yards, a TD and a 136.1 passer rating with Clark wide.

With Clark tight, Manning was eight of 13 for 79 yards, two interceptions and a 39.1 passer rating.