Monday, December 16, 2013
Upon Further Review: Colts Week 15
By Mike Wells
INDIANAPOLIS -- An examination of four topics from the Indianapolis Colts' victory over the Houston Texans:
Still in it: The Colts did their part by beating the Texans and then they got some help from some other teams to keep them in the running for one of the top three seeds in the AFC playoff race. Miami beat New England, the No. 2 seed, and Cincinnati, the No. 3 seed, lost to Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The Colts and Bengals have identical 9-5 records, but Cincinnati has the tiebreaker because of its victory over Indianapolis on Dec. 8. The Colts trail 10-4 New England by a game. And in the really long shot department, Indianapolis trails top seed Denver by two games. The Colts have to win their final two games -- at Kansas City and against Jacksonville -- and get some help from other teams in order to move up from the No. 4 seed. The Patriots close the season against Baltimore (7-6) and Buffalo (5-9). The Bengals play Minnesota (4-9-1) and Baltimore (7-6), while the Broncos wrap up against Houston (2-12) and the Raiders (4-10).
Faking it: The Colts had a 22-point lead early in the fourth quarter when they attempted their first fake punt of the season on fourth-and-8. The timing wasn't bad because most assumed the Colts would punt it and make the Texans use some clock by going the length of the field to score. Well, the Texans weren't thinking that. Safety Corey Lynch, punter Pat McAfee's protector, took the snap and attempted to run to his left. Lynch gained only 3 yards on the play.
Streak intact still: The Colts kept two significant streaks alive on Sunday. Coach Chuck Pagano and quarterback Andrew Luck still have yet to lose back-to-back games. The Colts are now 10-0 in games following a loss since the start of the 2012 season. They also kept the Texans winless in Indianapolis. Houston is 0-12 in games played against the Colts in Indianapolis.
Getting defensive: The Colts held the Texans to 239 yards, the fewest they've given up since allowing 205 yards against Jacksonville on Sept. 29, and the three points tied a season low. “We played good,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “Being able to stop the run, not giving up too many big plays, getting off on third down and creating turnovers, you'll always have a good turnout.” The Colts will need a similar type of defensive performance because the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis' next opponent, are averaging 44 points a game in their last four games. They scored 56 points and running back Jamaal Charles caught eight passes for 195 yards to go with five touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.