Final

Texans 15

(7-8, 2-6 away)

Colts 38

(13-2, 6-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 23, 2007

 

1 2 3 4 T
HOU 7 0 0 815
IND 3 21 14 038

Top Performers

Passing: P. Manning (IND) - 311 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: D. Walker (HOU) - 19 CAR, 66 YDS

Receiving: R. Wayne (IND) - 10 REC, 143 YDS, 1 TD

Colts score 38 unanswered points in easy victory over Texans

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indianapolis Colts are playoff ready.

Just ask the Houston Texans.

Peyton Manning looked sharp, Indy's running game was efficient, the defense forced three turnovers and there was no letdown Sunday in what's likely to be the Colts final postseason tuneup. Indy scored on six of its first eight possessions and had 38 consecutive points in a 38-15 rout.

"I think it says a lot about guys taking their jobs seriously and being professional by coming out and getting a win today," Manning said.

Game Time Change

Next Sunday's season finale between the Titans and Colts at Indianapolis has been moved to prime time with Tennessee in position to secure an AFC wild-card berth.

The NFL said after Tennessee's 10-6 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday it was switching Titans-Colts from 1 p.m. EST to 8:15 p.m. under the flexible schedule for late-season Sunday games. The originally scheduled Kansas City-Jets game moves to 4:15 p.m. EST.

Also being moved to 4:15 p.m. EST will be Dallas at Washington and Pittsburgh at Baltimore.

If the Titans beat the defending Super Bowl champion Colts, they will earn the sixth seed in the playoffs. They can't get in with a loss, regardless of what Cleveland does at home to San Francisco in an afternoon game.

-- Associated Press

The result had little significance to the Colts (13-2), who had already clinched their fifth straight AFC South title, the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Instead, Indy was more concerned about working out kinks before it starts defense of its Super Bowl title.

Did they ever.

The Colts had a season-high 458 yards, tied the second-most first downs in a game in franchise history with 33 and three running backs helped produce Indy's first 100-yard rushing day since Thanksgiving night.

All that was accomplished without perennial Pro Bowl receiver Marvin Harrison, who was our for the ninth straight game, and with most of the starters pulled after three quarters.

Manning was his typical self, finishing 28-of-35 for 311 yards with three TDs and a rating of 132.3. Joseph Addai, Kenton Keith and Clifton Dawson finally got the Colts' sagging ground game back in sync. Indy ran 31 times for 120 yards, its highest total since Oct. 28.

Reggie Wayne caught 10 passes for 143 yards, and Dallas Clark broke two franchise records. With six catches, two for TDs, Clark surpassed John Mackey's single-season marks for tight ends in both categories. Clark has 57 catches and 11 TDs. Mackey's bests were 55 receptions and nine TDs.

"I made the announcement to the team after the game, and I don't think many of them know who John Mackey was," coach Tony Dungy said. "But I remember him, and to me, he's the gold standard, so that's something special."

It wasn't just the Colts offense dominating, either.

Bob Sanders, Matt Giordano and Melvin Bullitt all had interceptions. The Colts defense, playing for the second straight week without any of this season's projected starters on the defensive line, allowed Houston to drive as deep as the Colts 40 only once the first three quarters.

For Houston (7-8), trying to win a franchise record eighth game, it was downright ugly.

"We were dominated," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We had been playing some pretty good football, and we came in here expecting to continue to play well. We got outplayed, outcoached; we got our butts kicked big time."

Sage Rosenfels was 22-of-36 for 233 yards with two TDs and three interceptions, including one in the Colts' end zone. He closed out the scoring with a 6-yard TD pass to Andre Johnson with 1:07 left.

There were some flaws for the Colts, however.

They lost tight end Ben Utecht with a shoulder injury and receiver Anthony Gonzalez with a bruised foot in the first half. Defensive back Tim Jennings also left in the final minute of the game with an undisclosed injury. None of the three returned, and Dungy had no immediate updates.

Addai played sparingly after the first quarter when he reportedly sustained back and shoulder injuries. The report was later denied by Colts spokesman Craig Kelley who said Addai was out because of a coach's decision.

After the game, Dungy said Addai and Gonzalez could have returned.

"Those guys are not nicked up too bad," Dungy said.

Manning led the Colts on first-half drives of 54, 92, 92 and 26 yards setting up a short field goal, Addai's 2-yard TD run and Clark's TD receptions of 6 and 11 yards to make it 24-7 at the half.

Dawson scored on a 4-yard run to open the second half, and Manning threw a 27-yard TD pass to Wayne in the third quarter, prompting Dungy to pull most of his starters, a situation that likely would have been replayed next week against Tennessee -- except the Titans need a win to secure an AFC wild-card berth. That game has been switched from afternoon to prime time under the NFL's flex TV schedule.

This game, though, was just what the Colts needed.

"More than anything, I was just really impressed by the way our team came out and played and the level of precision we had," Dungy said. "We talked this week about what we wanted to accomplish. Winning the game was No. 1, but we also wanted to do some things a little better and I think we did."

Game notes


Mario Williams sacked Manning in the second quarter, his sixth straight game with a sack. ... Houston defensive end Anthony Weaver injured his right shoulder in the first half but returned in the second half. Texans right tackle Eric Winston also got kicked in the back but was expected to be OK. ... Manning topped 30 TD passes for the fourth time in his career. ... The Colts have now won 10 straight home games against division foes.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
HOU
IND
1st Downs1833
Passing 1st downs
1219
Rushing 1st downs
512
1st downs from penalties
12
3rd down efficiency
3-86-11
4th down efficiency
1-11-1
Total Plays5572
Total Yards299458
Yards per play5.46.4
Total Drives1011
Passing233338
Comp-Att
22-3631-40
Yards per pass
6.58.2
Interceptions thrown
30
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-01-2
Rushing66120
Rushing Attempts
1931
Yards per rush
3.53.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-35-6
Penalties6-555-40
Turnovers31
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
30
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession24:1535:45

Passing Leaders

HOUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rosenfels22/362336.5230-0
INDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning28/353118.9301-2
Sorgi3/5295.8000-0

Rushing Leaders

HOUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Walker19663.5016
INDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Keith10606.0014
Addai6264.317

Receiving Leaders

HOURECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson77410.6118
Walter46917.3128
INDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Wayne1014314.3142
Clark66010.0219

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERHOUIND
houTD11:19Kevin Walter, 17 yd pass from Sage Rosenfels (Kris Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 76 yds, 3:46
70
indFG6:59Adam Vinatieri 29 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 54 yds, 4:19
73
SECOND QUARTERHOUIND
indTD12:14Joseph Addai, 2 yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 92 yds, 6:40
710
indTD5:45Dallas Clark, 6 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 92 yds, 4:21
717
indTD3:45Dallas Clark, 11 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 26 yds, 1:41
724
THIRD QUARTERHOUIND
indTD10:23Clifton Dawson, 4 yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 78 yds, 4:40
731
indTD3:12Reggie Wayne, 7 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 66 yds, 3:20
738
FOURTH QUARTERHOUIND
houTD1:11Andre Johnson, 6 yd pass from Sage Rosenfels(Darius Walker run for 2pt conversion)
Drive info: 4 plays, 31 yds, 0:37
1538