INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts (10-4) earned their fourth straight victory on Sunday with a 17-10 win over the Houston Texans (7-7)
It was another strong performance for the Colts defense as Indianapolis locked up a playoff berth.
Here's a notebook look at the Colts clinching the AFC South:
Colts Defense Limits Arian Foster, Leads Win
Chuck Pagano would have taken it before the game started.
Arian Foster's stat line read: 26 carries for 99 yards (3.8 yards per carry).
For most running backs that would be one of the better games of a season, but Foster isn't a Pro Bowler for nothing.
The 3.8 yards per carry for Foster was his second smallest output since September as the Colts run defense continued its strong play of recent.
"We are a complete team on defense," Sergio Brown said of the Colts holding Houston to just three points.
"When we are out there playing for each other and things click, we can be a force to be reckoned with, one of the top in the league. We just have to keep coming together as a unit and keep getting hot at the right time. And take this all the way, as far as we can."
Over the last two weeks the Colts defense has allowed just 13 total points and has helped carry a sluggish Colts offense.
Andrew Luck has taken note and that's why the words "team victory" were quick to come out of his mouth following the Colts 17-10 victory.
"They've done a heck of a job making plays, I think none more emphatic than Vontae's (Davis) interception to end the game," Luck said of the unit.
"They've been doing a heck of a job giving us great field position. We didn't necessarily capitalize on all the opportunities that our defense gave us and other stuff, but did enough. Coach (Greg) Manusky's done a heck of a job getting those guys ready."
Hakeem Nicks Provides Offensive Spark
The adaptation of the Colts offense has had to adjust quite a bit over the last few weeks.
With the injuries to Ahmad Bradshaw and Reggie Wayne, the Colts skill group has been forced to throw some different looks out there lately.
That has seen a diminished role for Hakeem Nicks compared to what the Colts free agent signee saw early on in the season.
Nicks came into Sunday having caught just three passes in over a month.
On Sunday though, Nicks caught two balls for 44 yards, which ties the second most receiving yards he has had in 2014.
His afternoon began with a 26-yard touchdown early in the second quarter where Nicks showed a nice ability to run after the catch and get into the end zone for his fourth score of the year.
Then on the Colts next touchdown drive there was Nicks showing his ability to go up and get it, something coveted during the free agency period, with an 18-yard sideline grab.
"I just wanted to go out there and make plays and they called my number and I showed up," Nicks said after the Colts 17-10 victory.
The 18-yard grab by Nicks set up Dwayne Allen scoring his eighth touchdown of the season.
A healthy Allen plus one with the pedigree of Nicks will certainly be counted on down the stretch, given the growing attention towards T.Y. Hilton.
"It feels good to get back out there and get healthy," Allen said after returning to the end zone for the first time in a month.
"Last week was one of those situations where I was not quite up to 100 percent. December football everyone is playing hurt, everyone is playing with little injuries and I got out there on the ankle and this week felt a little better and was able to get in the end zone. It always feels better when you get into the paint."
A Look At The Colts Snap Counts Against Houston
-With Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve, the running back snaps went to Trent Richardson (38-of-68) and Boom Herron (30).
-T.Y. Hilton led the wide receivers with 58 snaps. Reggie Wayne (51), Donte Moncrief (36) and Hakeem Nicks (21) rounded out the group.
-With Dwayne Allen back in the lineup on Sunday, he played 53 snaps. Coby Fleener logged 40 snaps with Jack Doyle playing 12.
-Defensively, Mike Adams, Vontae Davis, Jerrell Freeman, and Greg Toler each played all 71 defensive snaps.
-Along the defensive line, Cory Redding (54) led the group. The rest of the guys up front were as followed: Arthur Jones (52), Ricky Jean Francois (33), Josh Chapman (24) and Zach Kerr (17).
-At safety, the snaps went to Mike Adams (71), LaRon Landry (30) and Sergio Brown (18).