Peyton Manning, hampered by a lack of receivers for the past six weeks, threw four touchdown passes to help the Colts beat Jacksonville 28-25 Sunday and take a two-game lead in the division with four games to go. Manning, who was 19 of 28 for 288 yards, completed a 1-yard shovel pass to running back Luke Lawton (left) that proved to be the difference.
After Jacksonville had cut the Colts lead to 21-17 early in the fourth quarter, Indianapolis scored again on the shovel pass to Lawton, who was just signed this week after being cut earlier in the season.
"It was great on Luke's part that he knew the play," Manning said. "We just brought him back this week. It's kind of a funny TD pass for me, but I'll take it."
Manning was awful for most of the game but delivered in the latter stages after throwing four interceptions the previous week in a drubbing by Minnesota.
"It's easy to forget bad plays," Manning said. "And to be a quarterback, to be a football player, you have to be able to do that. You have to be able to forget the week before. You have to be able to forget the play before and just move on and work out the next play."
Making his first start for Tampa Bay and fifth of his career, third-string quarterback Luke McCown (left) completed his first 15 passes and wound up 29 of 37 for 313 yards and two touchdowns.
The winning score was a quick 4-yard pass to Jerramy Stevens, who had to outleap Jason Craft to make the catch.
"I've never been in a game like that in my life," said McCown, a former Louisiana Tech quarterback who has appeared in only seven NFL games. "All I know is that we never quit. All the time, coach told me it wasn't over, and you saw out there today why you have to have faith."
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.