Colts' Win Brings Another Division Title

With Sunday's 17-10 victory over the visiting Houston Texans, the Colts clinched their ninth AFC South title since 2002 and at least one home game in the upcoming playoffs. The triumph was the Colts' fourth straight this season and lifted their record to 10-4. They have never lost to Houston in the Texans' 13 trips to Indianapolis since 2002.





INDIANAPOLIS –With a little Luck and a lot of defense, the Colts wrapped up a playoff berth Sunday against the Houston Texans.

The Colts topped the Texans, 17-10, at Lucas Oil Stadium as Andrew Luck passed for a pair of first-half touchdowns. The outcome represented the Colts' 12th consecutive victory over an AFC South opponent.

"It wasn't pretty, but to be division champs is special," Luck said after the Colts' offense gained a season-low 278 net yards.

Luck completed 18-of-34 passes for 187 yards, with the two scores and a first-quarter interception that Houston returned for a touchdown.

But while the Indy offense turned in an uneven performance, the defense was particularly impressive, holding the Texans' offense to just a field goal. Those three points came on the Houston offense's only push of the day beyond the Indianapolis 40-yard line.

The Texans suffered a jolt when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick sustained a leg injury early in the second quarter and didn't return. His replacement, Tom Savage, finished with 10-of-19 passing for 127 yards and an interception.

That interception, by Colts cornerback Vontae Davis, came on Houston's final drive. With 1:28 remaining, Davis grabbed a throw that Savage intended for DeAndre Hopkins near the sideline. From there, Luck closed out the victory with three kneel-downs.

"They've done a heck of a job making plays," Luck said about the Indy defense, "none more emphatic than Vontae's interception to end the game."

The Colts' playoff berth will be their 14th in 16 years. The AFC South title is their ninth since 2002.

Winning the division was something the team talked about, starting with the first day of the 2014 training camp in July. As Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said after Sunday's victory, "We checked that box. Now it's time to keep working, keep getting better."


FIRST QUARTER (5:56 remaining)

The Texans struck first, thanks to their defense. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's errant pass was picked off by Houston safety Kendrick Lewis and returned 27 yards for a touchdown. It was Luck's 14th interception of the season. Randy Bullock kicked the extra point.Texans 7, Colts 0.

SECOND QUARTER (14:53 remaining)

Luck quickly came back from his earlier interception to lead the Colts to their first score. He completed 6-of-6 passes for 74 yards on the drive, including a 26-yard touchdown to Hakeem Nicks. Among the receivers catching passes on the march was Reggie Wayne, who grabbed one for 10 yards on the opening play. Wayne was playing in his 209th regular-season game for the Colts, breaking the franchise record for most games played held by Peyton Manning. Adam Vinatieri booted the extra point. Texans 7, Colts 7.

SECOND QUARTER (6:21 remaining)

After an exchange of turnovers – Indy's Wayne lost a fumble and Houston bobbled a handoff – the Colts' offense went back to work. The Colts needed only a three-play drive to go 37 yards for another touchdown. Running back Boom Herron bolted for an 11-yard gain. Then Luck connected on an 18-yard pass to Nicks and the 3-yard score to Dwayne Allen. Vinatieri added the extra point. Colts 14, Texans 7.

FOURTH QUARTER (13:40 remaining)

The Houston offense began moving the ball – enough for a 53-yard field goal by Bullock. The big play on the march was a 30-yard pass completion from Tom Savage to DeVier Posey. Colts 14, Texans 10.

FOURTH QUARTER (2:11 remaining)

The Colts extended their lead to seven points by using their running game. Herron was the main man, gaining 35 yards on five carries. When the drive stalled, Vinatieri kicked a 29-yard field goal. Vinatieri, the only kicker in the NFL without a miss this season, is 28-of-28. After the game, Colts Coach Chuck Pagano talked about the march, calling it "huge. It was critical (and) took a lot of time off the clock. The three points was enough." Colts 17, Texans 10.

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