James ran for 204 yards on 23 carries and Manning riddled
Chicago's defense with four TD passes, pacing the Indianapolis
Colts to a 41-10 romp Sunday at Soldier Field.
"We dictated the flow of the game," James said. "We were
moving the ball up and down. We were just playing football.
"Today was the day you could have easily broken the NFL
record," James added. "But we've got a game in a couple of days
and right now my (priority) is being ready for it."
James, whose career best is 219 yards set in 2000 against
Seattle, scored on an 11-yard TD run with 42 seconds to go in the
third quarter to make it 41-3.
The NFL single-game rushing record is 295 yards set last season
by Baltimore's Jamal Lewis. Any chance for a record ended when
James and Manning got the fourth quarter off -- the Colts have to
prepare for a Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit.
"It seemed like all week the Bears were talking about pass rush
and trying to stop the passing game. Everyone on the Colts team
knows the importance of Edgerrin and what No. 32 is capable of
doing," Manning said.
"We thought it was important to come out and establish Edgerrin
by running the ball early. Once we started running it well, we were
able to take advantage of some one-on-one coverages and hit some
The Colts (7-3) feasted on five Chicago turnovers, four by shaky
rookie quarterback Craig Krenzel, who lost two fumbles and threw
two interceptions as the Bears' three-game winning streak ended
with a thud.
Chicago's offense couldn't sustain drives and made it even more
difficult for the defense, especially with James and Manning on top
of their games.
"The running back bounced off tackles like it was nothing
today. We didn't play well in any phase of the game," said Bears
defensive end Alex Brown. "We didn't tackle, we didn't get after
the passer, we didn't cover, we didn't do anything right."
Manning had lots of time to throw in the first half -- the Bears
didn't come close to a sack -- and he spread the offense around as
he has all season. He hit TD passes of 14 yards to Marcus Pollard,
35 yards to Reggie Wayne and then a 10-yarder to Marvin Harrison as
the Colts surged to a 27-3 halftime lead.
Indianapolis, now with a three-game winning streak, didn't miss
a beat with starting guards Tupe Peko and Rick DeMulling sidelined
by injuries. Rookies Ryan Lilja and Jake Scott were more than
adequate as the Colts shoved the Bears (4-6), who were without
injured star linebacker Brian Urlacher, all over Soldier Field.
Manning went 17-of-28 for 211 yards.
"Edgerrin ran crazy today and his receivers got open and they
caught the ball," Brown said. "His offensive line blocked as long
as they needed to."
The Bears' moribund offense had three first-half turnovers.
Krenzel fumbled and threw an interception, and Bobby Wade also
fumbled after a pass reception. The three mistakes led to a Colts
touchdown and two field goals by Mike Vanderjagt.
Manning's first two TD passes gave him 200 for his career and
made him the second quickest QB (106 games) to reach that mark,
behind Marino (89).
Indianapolis' first possession set the tone. James ran five
times for 33 yards and Manning was 4-of-5 for 40 yards in a 73-yard
drive, capped by the TD pass to Pollard.
The Bears had a big chance on the Colts' next series when
Manning threw a flat pass right into the hands of Chicago
linebacker Lance Briggs, who had clear sailing 30 yards to the end
zone. But Briggs juggled the ball several times before dropping it,
and the Bears' chances of staying close were over.
Manning was intercepted on Indianapolis' first possession of the
second half, after James' 40-yard run helped the Colts reach the
Bears 7. Manning's pass to the end zone was picked off by rookie
But it didn't take long for the Colts to rebound. With a 22-yard
run by James, they moved 71 yards in four plays and capped the
drive with the 27-yard TD pass to Wayne.
Chicago finally got into the end zone with 1:37 left in the game
on Krenzel's 2-yard pass to Dustin Lyman.
Manning's 35 TD passes are an Indianapolis record, breaking
his old mark of 33 sat in 2000. ... James is the only runner in
Colts history to rush for 200 yards twice. ... James went over
1,000 yards for the fourth time in his career. ... The Colts had a
486-224 edge in total offense. ... It was the Bears' first loss in
Krenzel's four starts.
The NFL says it is close but still has yet to interview the four players named along with Peyton Manning in a report five months ago that linked them to PEDs.
ESPNDallas columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor and NFL Nation reporter Todd Archer discuss what Randy Gregory needs to do to have a long future with the Cowboys, plus a Dez Bryant-Russell Westbrook comparison.
ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson discusses how Kevin White looked in Chicago's OTA on Wednesday.
ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim says Preston Smith and the defense, including safety DeAngelo Hall, had a big day against the offense Wednesday.
ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon explains that perennial Pro Bowl tackle knows the wear and tear on his body; if he needs a day off in OTAs and during the season, Cleveland Browns are wise to give it to him.
DeSean Jackson has missed too many voluntary workouts to collect his $500,000 bonus, but Washington isn't concerned about his absences.