Updated: December 13, 2009 at 12:00 am
INDIANAPOLIS • Before Sunday’s game, Brandon Marshall told receivers coach Adam Gase and strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten that he was in for the best game of his career.
Tuten reminded Marshall that he had 18 catches in a game last year against San Diego, which was the second-most in NFL history.
“I said ‘That wasn’t anything,’” Marshall said.
Marshall proved himself correct. He caught a NFL-record 21 passes against the Colts for 200 yards, breaking Terrell Owens’ record. Marshall said he didn’t know exactly how many catches he had late in the game, but someone on the sideline told him he was close to the record before Denver’s final drive.
He caught his 21st pass on the Broncos’ final offensive play, a fourth down. He was short of the first down and pitched it to guard Chris Kuper, who was tackled.
The Colts didn’t do much to take Marshall away, and the Broncos kept going to him. Coach Josh McDaniels said Denver didn’t plan on throwing to Marshall that often, but the coverage kept dictating that’s where quarterback Kyle Orton went with the ball.
The Colts gave Marshall respect for breaking the record, but they set a record of their own with their 22nd straight regular-season win.
“That is a good tribute to that guy,” Colts linebacker Clint Session said. “We knew he was going to be a tough task to cover coming into this game. He got his, but they lost.”