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BILLS' SECONDARY TAKES A BEATING

INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison combined to make Sunday afternoon a long one for Buffalo Bills cornerback Ken Irvin.

The Indianapolis Colts attacked Irvin's side of the field repeatedly in the Bills' 31-14 loss at the RCA Dome.

Harrison caught a 42-yard pass against Irvin in the third quarter, which led to a Colts field goal. Harrison got inside Irvin against a Bills' zone defense for a 24-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. E.G. Green caught a 27-yarder in front of Irvin during a Colts second-quarter TD drive.

Irvin was hardly alone on the list of Bills defenders who struggled. Safety Kurt Schulz was beaten on a 50-yard pass in the first quarter. And the front four did not help the secondary enough because it infrequently pressured Manning.

It all added up to a big passing day for the Colts.

Harrison caught eight passes for 121 yards. Green caught five for 124.

"We made a lot of mental mistakes," Irvin said. "They had a good game plan for the things we were doing. They got us on some big plays down the field, and those are things we have to eliminate."

Harrison's 42-yard catch came on a first-and-10 play at the end of the third quarter. It was a play-action pass, and Manning had plenty of time for Harrison to get downfield, and the receiver made a nice diving grab.

"They made a good throw and catch," Irvin said. "That's a play that I should have made, and I have to overcome it and go on."

The TD pass to Harrison came earlier in the third quarter. The receiver broke down the right-middle of the field between Irvin and Schulz.

"They called a good play against our zone defense and found an opening," Irvin said. "I had the deep outside third of the field. Obviously I need to squeeze the guy more. They did a good job of making it a long way for us to have to cover. But those are plays we have to make."

Manning was 7 of 13 passing on third down. The Colts converted 8 of 14 third-down attempts for a 57 percent conversion rate. That does not count a third-down kneel-down by Manning at the end of the game.

Third downs were a problem for the Bills' defense last year.

The Bills allowed 38.6 percent conversions, only 19th best in the league.

"It seemed like they were running the right patterns at the right time," Schulz said. "Everything was clicking for them. It seemed like they knew what we were doing and we didn't know what they were doing."

The Colts' first big pass play came on their second possession.

Manning faked a handoff up the middle and hit Green for a 50-yarder down the left sideline. Green was wide open and was tackled at the Bills' 1. The Colts scored two plays later.

"That was my fault," Schulz said. "I got sucked in (by the fake handoff). You can't do that.

"They had a heckuva game, scheme-wise, with their passing attack," Schulz said.

Manning finished 21 of 33 for 284 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Manny Martin got one interception on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half. Antoine Winfield got the other in the fourth quarter on a deflection after Thomas Smith batted the ball into the air.

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