JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Peyton Manning was nearly perfect, exactly what the Indianapolis Colts needed to overcome all the emotion the Jacksonville Jaguars got from Richard Collier's return.

Manning completed his first 17 passes, picked apart Jacksonville's secondary, and led the Colts to their eighth consecutive win and seventh straight playoff berth.

Manning threw for 364 yards and three touchdowns, and the Colts secured the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs with a 31-24 victory over the Jaguars last night.

Indianapolis (11-4) took its first lead of the game when Keiwan Ratliff intercepted a pass from David Garrard and returned it 35 yards for a TD and a 31-24 lead with 4 minutes, 48 seconds left.

The Jaguars (5-10) had two chances to tie it, but both drives ended with sacks.

Collier, a 6-foot-7 offensive linemen paralyzed from the waist down following a shooting in early September, returned to the field for the first time and was cheered during pregame ceremonies.


Tony Romo finished his last game with a sore back, but the quarterback said he will be ready tomorrow night when Dallas plays Baltimore in the final game at Texas Stadium.

"Tony practiced [Thursday] and felt a lot better," coach Wade Phillips said. "It looks good for him for tomorrow."

Running back Marion Barber didn't practice and is again considered a game-time decision with a broken pinkie toe that forced him to miss a game.


Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch watched practice, two days after having surgery on his groin, and said he feels better than he did a week ago.

"I'm confident that it's fixed now," he said.

He expects to be back when Tennessee hosts a divisional playoff on either Jan. 10 or 11.


After consecutive wins with him in the lineup, Minnesota will start Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback Sunday against Atlanta, offfensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said.

Jackson got the nod over journeyman Gus Frerotte, who had won the job over Jackson.


St. Louis lost two more players for the rest of the season, placing wide receiver and kick returner Derek Stanley and linebacker Gary Stills on injured reserve.

The moves brings to an even dozen the number of Rams players on IR.


Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott was signed to fill the roster spot left open when Buffalo placed defensive end Aaron Schobel on injured reserve last week.


The Green Bay Packers have placed safety Atari Bigby on injured reserve, sidelining him for the final two games of what has been a disappointing season.

The Packers signed defensive tackle Anthony Toribio to take Bibgy's spot on the active roster and signed fullback Russ Weil to their practice squad.

NFL advises on security.

With the government seeking to increase security at college events, NFL stadiums will be the host sites for workshops on sports event security training for more than 1,000 intercollegiate institutions over the next two years.

The training sessions will be directed by the Center for Spectator Sports Security Management at the University of Southern Mississippi and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, with assistance from the Stadium Managers' Association.

The workshops are funded by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Baugh services set.

Funeral services for Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh are scheduled for Monday.

Weathersbee-Ray funeral director Doug Ray said Mr. Baugh's service will be at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Rotan, Texas.

Baugh died Wednesday night at 94.