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Colts get Bucs in overtime

Posted: Tuesday, October 07, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. Peyton Manning refused to give up.

With Indianapolis down three touchdowns against the NFL's stingiest defense with four minutes left in regulation, the Colts quarterback pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in league history Monday night.

''I never lost confidence. But I'm not going to lie, it didn't look good,'' Manning said after Mike Vanderjagt's 29-yard field goal with 3:47 left in the extra period gave the Colts a 38-35 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

''It's the old cliche 60 minutes,'' Manning said. ''Sometimes it's hard to keep believing that.''

The Colts (5-0) sent the game into overtime on Ricky Williams' 1-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds left in regulation. Marvin Harrison, who had two touchdown catches, set up the tying score with a 52-yard reception to the Tampa Bay 5.

Harrison scored on second-half receptions of 37 and 28 yards, the latter trimming Tampa Bay's lead to 35-28 with 2:29 remaining in regulation.

Indianapolis became the first team in NFL history to win after trailing by 21 or more points with less than four minutes to play in regulation.

Colts coach Tony Dungy, returning to Raymond James Stadium for the first time since being fired by Tampa Bay in January 2002, improved to 4-0 in games against defending Super Bowl champions in the Bucs' home.

''Tony never brought it up, but we wanted to win for him back here is this place, and it's his birthday,'' Manning said. ''You always want to do that.''

Vanderjagt had missed a potential winning field goal from 40 yards wide right a play earlier it would have been his first miss of the season in 13 attempts but Tampa Bay's Simeon Rice was called for leaping and landing on a teammate and the Colts got another chance.

Vanderjagt made the second kick barely, as it went off the right upright and through after being deflected at the line by a Tampa Bay player.

Dungy, celebrating his 48th birthday, was as surprised as Manning to score so many points against one of the great defenses in the league.

''These guys just never gave up. That's what I like about us,'' Dungy said. ''We've got great chemistry and I just had a feeling the Lord was going to do something, and he certainly did.''

At halftime, he told his team how poorly it had performed.

''I told them that was the most disappointed I've been in our team,'' Dungy said. ''We just didn't play our game.''

Manning launched the winning drive from his own 13. He had crucial third-down completions of 8 yards to Harrison, 16 yards to Reggie Wayne and 9 yards to Troy Walters to keep the march alive.

Harrison's 37-yard TD catch put the Colts, who trailed 21-0 at halftime, on the scoreboard early in the third quarter. He finished with 11 catches for 176 yards.

''A lot of those plays, I tip my hat to Manning,'' Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. ''He made some miraculous throws, and they made some incredible catches.''

Williams, part of a committee of running backs filling in for the injured Edgerrin James, had a 1-yard TD run three minutes into the fourth quarter. James Mungro scored on a 3-yard run for the Colts with 3:37 remaining, the touchdown that started the comeback.

Tampa Bay (2-2) had a final chance to win at the end of regulation, but Martin Gramatica's 62-yard field goal attempt was tipped and fell just beyond the line of scrimmage. He also missed a 60-yard attempt at the end of the first half.

A week after throwing for 314 yards and six touchdowns in New Orleans, Manning was 34-of-47 for 386 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.



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