Monday, November 09, 2009

Manning, Clark hook up 14 times to tie franchise record

By Tom James

November 9, 2009

Indianapolis — It’s probably safe to assume that Dallas Clark is going to be one tired tight end this morning.

After all, Clark hauled in 14 passes for 119 yards from quarterback Peyton Manning in Sunday’s 20-17 come-from-behind win over the Houston Texans, tying a franchise record. He was Manning’s primary target 16 times — 11 of those catches coming in the fast-break first half — when the Indianapolis Colts went no-huddle for a whopping 50 plays.

Clark’s previous high was 12 receptions against the Detroit Lions last season. He tied the Colts’ single-game receiving record, which was set twice by former Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison (at Cleveland, 1999, vs. Dallas, 2002).

His 14 receptions tied for the third-most in a game by a tight end in NFL history (Kellen Winslow caught 15 in 1984 and Jason Whitten in 2007). Clark also surpassed Jim Mutscheller for the second-most receiving yards by a Colts tight end. He now has 3,785 and trails John Mackey’s total of 5,126.

Clark recorded his seventh career 100-yard receiving game, the second-most among Colts tight ends; Mackey had eight.

“I wouldn’t say [the fast pace] was fun. When you run [50] plays in the first half, you are going to feel that Wednesday and Thursday. [Running the no-huddle] was fun for a series. It was kind of a game-time decision trying to play some up-tempo and mix it up a little bit on them. It helped. I think we were wearing them down, but we were getting pretty tired as well,” the Colts’ 2004 first-round draft pick said after the game.

“But we were able to keep pressing and keep them guessing. I think it helped us. It was a good kind of weapon for us. I think it definitely helped us get some tempo going.”

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