‘THEY ARE TOUGH TO DEAL WITH’ Needing a stout defensive effort in order to preserve its chances at a post-season run, Indianapolis’ defenders triumphed against Jacksonville in the Colts’ 34-24 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon.


'THEY ARE TOUGH TO DEAL WITH'Needing a stout defensive effort in order to preserve its chances at a post-season run, Indianapolis' defenders triumphed against Jacksonville in the Colts' 34-24 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon.

Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew entered the contest with six consecutive games of 100 rushing yards or more and was averaging 128 yards in those six efforts.

Against the Colts, Jones-Drew had 15 carries for 46 yards.

The Colts held the league's second-most prolific rushing team to 67 yards on 22 carries.

Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said he was proud of the defense's effort.

"(Jones-Drew) is a tough guy to handle," Caldwell said. "I think our guys did a very nice job of keeping him contained. (They) didn't let him have any big runs, made him work for everything he got. I think our guys in the secondary tackled well also. They're a good running team, very tough running team. They're tough to deal with."

Indianapolis' defense also created two turnovers, an Antoine Bethea interception and a fumble recovery by rookie Kavell Conner on a punt return, that led to two Adam Vinatieri field goals.

Since 2004, Indianapolis is now 37-0 when winning the turnover margin by two or more.

"We harp on that all of the time," Bethea said. "Get takeaways, get the ball back, get our offense back on the field, and we were able to do that today."

Indianapolis heads to Oakland next week, where it will have to duplicate Sunday's defensive effort against the NFL's third-best rushing attack.

Colts running back Donald Brown eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time in his career Sunday with 14 carries for 129 yards.

"The offensive line did a phenomenal job," Brown said. "When you are getting to the second level and that is the first time you are getting touched, that makes my job a lot easier. We just want to complement the passing game anyway we can."

But as good of a day that Brown had, and while he said he wants to continue to run the ball effectively, he felt better about another accomplishment.

"It feels better to win," Brown said. "This was a must-win game and we just have to keep working hard and Monday just focus on Oakland.

"We need to complement the passing game. That is what our job is, and when teams are putting six defensive backs out there, we need to be able to run the ball and run the ball effectively and take some pressure off those guys."

Brown had two long rushes on the day, a 49-yarder in the first quarter and a 43-yard touchdown run on the Colts' first possession of the second half.

His 49-yard run was the longest by the Colts since Dominic Rhodes had a 55-yard carry against Tennessee in 2004, and the 43-yard touchdown run was the longest since Rhodes' 46-yard rushing touchdown in 2001 against the Jets.

Brown's performance gave Indianapolis its first 100-plus-yard rushing performance since Week Eight in its 30-17 victory over Houston, and it marked the first time a Colts running back has rushed for more than 100 yards since Joseph Addai had 105 against Houston on 11/16/08.

COLLIE RETURNSColts wide receiver Austin Collie returned on Sunday before a concussion would force him out late in the second quarter. But Collie made an impact early, helping the Colts re-gain control of the AFC South with two weeks remaining. The second-year wide receiver totaled eight catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns in just under a half of play.

On Indianapolis' first drive of the contest, Peyton Manning found Collie in the back left of the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Manning connected with Collie for a 27-yard touchdown down the right seam.

Those two touchdowns gave the second-year receiver a career-best eight in a season, and marked his third career multiple-touchdown game.

HORSE HIGHLIGHTS-Peyton Manning tied John Unitas for most games played in club history with 206.

-Manning surpassed his own club records for the most single-season completions with 407 and attempts with 608. Previously, those marks stood at 393 in 2009 and 591 in 2002, respectively.

-With a reception in 78 consecutive games, Reggie Wayne surpassed running back Marshall Faulk for the second-longest streak in club history behind Marvin Harrison (190).

-Robert Mathis moved his season sack total to 9.5 with a first-half sack of Jaguars quarterback David Garrard.

-With five catches on Sunday, Wayne is now one short of 100 receptions for the third time in his career. With one more catch he will become the 11th player in NFL history with back-to-back 100 -reception seasons.

-Tyjuan Hagler's onside kick return for a touchdown was a team first for the Colts and the shortest kickoff returned for a score in club history.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

2023 Season Tickets On Sale Now!

2023 Season Tickets On Sale Now!

Our opponents are set! Secure the best seats & best benefits for next season, and be there live for exciting matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and more of the NFL's best opponents. Request more info or view our 3D Seat Viewer below!