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Defense Shines As Colts Clinch AFC South

Intro: The Colts (10-4) clinched the AFC South on Sunday thanks to a 17-10 victory over the Houston Texans (7-7). Here are in-game updates from the Colts earning their 10th victory of the season.





INDIANAPOLISFirst Quarter Recap

The Colts won the toss and elected to receive.

Hoping to get off to a better start, the Colts took the opening kickoff. A misfire from Andrew Luck to Dwayne Allen on first down led to a three-and-out for the Colts offense.

The Texans would get things started with a 13-yard run from Arian Foster. However, the defense held from there and the Texans punt pinned the Colts back at their own 18-yard line with 11:43 left in the opening quarter.

T.Y. Hilton got into the act on the Colts second offensive drive with two catches for 24 yards. Things stalled out though around midfield for the Indy offense and a punt was in order.

The hope to get off to a better start evaporated when Luck threw a pick six on the third offensive series. Houston safety Kendrick Lewis returned the interception 27 yards for a touchdown to give the Texans a 7-0 lead with just less than six minutes to play in the opening quarter.

Down 7-0, the Colts took over but had to go three-and-out when Luck couldn't connect on a deep ball to Donte Moncrief.

The Indianapolis defense continued its trend of past weeks in forcing three-and-outs on the third offensive series of the game for Houston. Strong run defense from Bjoern Werner led to the Houston punt.

At the end of the first quarter, the Texans led the Colts 7-0.Second Quarter Recap

It was time for a bounce back drive for Luck and he did that. Luck completed 6-of-6 passes for 74 yards with Hakeem Nicks scoring on a 26-yard touchdown reception. The scored tied the game at seven early in the second quarter.

The Houston offense took a massive hit on the next series when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was carted off the field. With rookie Tom Savage at quarterback, the Texans struggled to move the football and had to punt.

After a bit of a slow start to this one, the game picked up steam with back-to-back turnovers. First a Reggie Wayne fumble was recovered in Texans territory by Houston's A.J. Bouye.

On the very next play, Bjoern Werner pounced on a botched handoff attempt from Savage to Arian Foster.

The Colts took advantage with Hakeem Nicks catching an 18-yard sideline catch. That set up the Colts first-and-goal and Dwayne Allen scored his eighth touchdown of the year, this one from three yards out. The score gave the Colts a 14-7 lead with 6:21 to go until halftime.

Houston's offense was in struggle mode without Fitzpatrick. Ricky Jean Francois sacked the rookie to force another Texans punt.

The Colts returned the favor with a punt of their own just prior to the two minute warning.

Thanks to a 35-yard completion from Tom Savage to DeAndre Hopkins, Houston looked like it was going to muster some late half points. However, the drive ended when on a fourth-and-one, a fake punt attempt was sniffed out by rookie linebacker Andrew Jackson.

At halftime, the Colts led the Texans 14-7.Third Quarter Recap

It was a slow start to the third quarter with both teams having to punt on their first two possessions of the frame.

The Colts continued to control field position with Houston starting at its own 11-yard line at the 4:10 mark of the third quarter. At this point in the game, the Texans had yet to have an offensive play start past the Indianapolis 40-yard line.

That changed on this drive though with DeVier Posey catching a 30-yard pass to get into Colts territory. Houston's drive got down to the Indianapolis 31-yard line before the end of the quarter.

At the end of the third quarter, the Colts led the Texans 14-7Fourth Quarter Recap

Houston's best drive of the afternoon ended after a holding penalty on fourth-and-one negated a 27-yard touchdown run by Arian Foster. The Texans settled for a 53-yard field goal from Randy Bullock. That brought the Colts down to 14-10 with 13:40 left.

Needing a score to get back to a comfortable cushion, the Colts offense went three-and-out.

The Texans' momentum was building as Tom Savage started the second half six-of-six for 68 yards. A drive in Colts territory ended though on back-to-back incompletions form Savage and giving Indianapolis the ball back on downs.

The Colts took over at their own 42-yard line, leading 14-10, with 7:14 left in the fourth quarter. A ground chewing drive took the Colts deep into Houston territory before Adam Vinatieri made his 34th straight field goal. The 29-yarder from Vinatieri gave the Colts a 17-10 lead with 2:11 to go.

Needing a touchdown drive to send the game into overtime, the Texans took over at their own 20-yard line with one timeout remaining. Houston's last ditch attempt ended on a fourth-down interception by Vontae Davis.

With the Colts 17-10 victory, they clinched the AFC South for the ninth time since 2002.

Colts Inactives

25-Jalil Brown

51-Henoc Muamba

63-A.Q. Shipley

67-Andrew McDonald

69-Hugh Thornton

76-Joe Reitz

95-Montori Hughes

Colts Pre-Game Notes

-With a win this afternoon, the Colts will clinch their ninth divisional title since 2002.Weather Update

-The Lucas Oil Stadium roof is closed today in their final regular season game of 2014.

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