INDIANAPOLIS – It took the Indianapolis Colts one half to shake off their post-Super Bowl hangover.
Then Peyton Manning and friends came alive to beat New Orleans 41-10 Thursday night in the NFL's opener, running away in the final 30 minutes with a championship caliber performance.
Playing against his hometown team, Manning had three TD passes, two to Reggie Wayne and another to Marvin Harrison. Joseph Addai ran for 118 yards on 23 carries and a super-quick defense with four new starters shut down Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and the explosive New Orleans offense.
The game was tied 10-10 after a sloppy first half.
But Manning, who finished 18-of-30 for 288 yards, led two quick TD drives in the first 8:49 of the second half as the Colts put up 24 points in 20 minutes after intermission. On the first drive, Manning hit Harrison for 42 yards to set up a 2-yard TD run by Addai. Then the Super Bowl MVP came right back to throw a 28-yard TD to Wayne.
Another major player — for both sides — was New Orleans cornerback Jason David, who started for the Colts in their Super Bowl win over Chicago, then left as a free agent. He was victimized by Harrison on a 27-yard TD pass in the first half and again by Wayne on both his scores, the second a 45-yarder in the fourth quarter.
But David also produced the Saints' only TD, stripping Wayne after a second-quarter completion, picking up the ball and returning it 55 yards for the score.