AFC South: rapid reaction 9
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis isn't excited about being 4-4. But a week after a loss in Nashville put the division out of reach, at least the Colts got themselves alone into second place in the AFC South all by themselves.
That doesn't mean a lot by itself, but it does mean they are only one game off the pace of the group of teams that are currently at the head of the line for Wild Card slots.
While the Colts allowed the Patriots some success running the ball, they largely neutralized Randy Moss and made New England move in small increments. Meanwhile Peyton Manning did better finding a rhythm with his receivers and the Colts got the first field goal from Adam Vinatieri of longer than 50-yards since 2002 for the winning margin.
They also benefitted from an unnecessary roughness penalty against tight end David Thomas and some odd clock management by Bill Belichick that left him depleted of timeouts early in the second half, prompting him to go for a late fourth-and-16 that wound up a Bob Sanders interception.
One game can't undo all the things that have gone wrong for the Colts through half the season, and this hardly felt like recent Colts-Patriots clashes where AFC supremacy was at stake. But Indianapolis was more than happy to take a win in a game that often felt like it was played between two teams being quite cautious.
Chad Ocho Cinco had two touchdown catches all season for winless Cincinnati.
He got two more against Jacksonville in the Bengals' first win of the season.
At 3-5 heading home from this disaster, the Jaguars could be ready to fracture. They are nowhere near the team they were expected to be and it seems like they are now beyond repair.
The woeful Bengals came into the game allowing 146.9 rushing yards a game and 4.3 yards a carry, then held the Jags to 68 and 3.2.
Jacksonville was down 21-3 after three quarters, but charged back late in the fourth quarter and had a late shot at a two-point conversion that could have positioned it for overtime.