Colts Keep Slim Playoff Hopes Alive Sunday In Miami

Intro: With a heavy dose of Frank Gore and a timely pass rush, the Colts escaped Miami with an 18-12 victory on Sunday afternoon. What do the Colts slim playoff hopes look like?

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MIAMI – Before the Colts could do any scoreboard watching on Sunday, they had their own business to worry about.

It took all of 60 minutes, but the Colts did their job, and with that came keeping their playoff hopes alive for at least one more day.

"I told the guys last night, 'Let's focus on what we need to do. And we need to get a win," Chuck Pagano said after the Colts 18-12 victory on Sunday afternoon.

"We are still in the thing. We need some help, but we (first) needed to take care of business."

With Houston's dominating win on Sunday, the Colts had to come up with a victory of their own to keep any postseason chances lingering into Week 17.

If Denver beats Cincinnati on Monday night, the Colts will head to the final week of the regular season with a slim playoff chance.

The Colts seventh win of 2015 didn't come without more adversity.

Matt Hasselbeck was forced to exit his fourth straight game due to injury. Midway through the second quarter, a hit from Dolphins defensive lineman Jordan Phillips injured Hasselbeck's right shoulder.

An AC sprain ended Hasselbeck's afternoon (after leading the Colts on two touchdown drives), and has him not very optimistic about being available for the team's season finale next week.

Even with Hasselbeck in the lineup, the Colts main offensive production came from the 32-year-old legs of Frank Gore.

Playing in Miami for the first time in his 11 NFL seasons, Gore sliced and bulldozed his way to 85 rushing yards in 15 carries and two touchdowns.

Gore's output was almost enough for the Colts.

But with Hasselbeck sidelined for the entire second half, the Colts had to rely on a re-born pass rush.

The Colts received six sacks from three different players (Kendall Langford, T.Y. McGill and Robert Mathis), highlighted by a safety in the first quarter and the game-clincher on the Dolphins final play from scrimmage.

Facing a fourth-and-goal from the Colts five-yard line, the Dolphins offensive line wasn't on the same cadence.

They paid dearly with the Colts bombarding Ryan Tannehill for a sack.

While the Dolphins looked very confused, the Colts were clearly not.

"I know what we were doing. We were trying to eat," Langford said of Mathis' victory sealing sack.

The Colts will now head back to Indianapolis for their regular season finale, entering a third straight week without knowing who their starting quarterback will be.

They will also go home with the feeling that their slim playoff hopes remain in play, for at least another 24 hours.

"I just know we are still alive," Mathis said with a grin.

Photos from the week 16 game against the Miami Dolphins

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