NFL Wire News

Colts 17, Texans 10

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INDIANAPOLIS — For the second consecutive season, the Indianapolis Colts are the AFC South champions.

Quarterback Andrew Luck overcame yet another slow start, and the Colts took advantage of a first-half leg injury that knocked Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the game for a division-clinching 17-10 victory Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Indianapolis (10-4) has a three-game lead on Houston (7-7) with two regular-season games remaining. Luck finished 18 of 34 for 187 yards and two touchdown passes.

Any Texans hopes of victory essentially were wiped out with 13:17 remaining in the second quarter when Fitzpatrick suffered what was reported to be a fractured left leg while attempting to scramble for a first down. Fitzpatrick was transported from the field to the locker room on a cart.

Fitzpatrick was replaced by rookie Tom Savage, who until Sunday had not thrown an NFL pass.

Houston actually took an early 7-0 lead when free safety Kendrick Lewis intercepted a Luck pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown with 5:56 remaining in the first quarter.

The interception was the 14th this season from Luck, who has been plagued by opening-half fumbles and interceptions in recent weeks, although the Colts have won four in a row since a November loss to New England in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Luck, who was 16 of 26 for 164 yards and two touchdowns during the first 30 minutes, got untracked late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter. Luck’s 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks on the second quarter’s first play capped a six-play, 78-yard drive and tied the game at 7.

With 7:45 remaining in the second quarter, Savage fumbled, and Colts linebacker Bryan Werner recovered at the Houston 37-yard line. Three plays after the Savage fumble, Luck threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dwayne Allen to give Indianapolis a 14-7 advantage with 6:21 to go in the first half.

Houston pulled to within 14-10 with 13:40 remaining on Randy Bullock’s 53-yard field goal, capping a 10-play, 54-yard drive. The Texans could have tied the score, but an Arian Foster touchdown run was wiped out by a holding penalty, forcing Houston to settle for the long field goal.

The Texans moved to the Colts’ 42 with 7:14 remaining but turned the ball over on downs when a Savage pass on fourth-and-4 fell incomplete.

With Luck handing off to David Herron and Trent Richardson, Indianapolis methodically moved into field-goal range, taking a 17-10 lead on Adam Vinatieri’s 29-yard field goal with 2:11 to play. The drive covered 47 yards in 10 plays.

NOTES: Indianapolis now is 22-4 all-time against the Texans, including 13-0 in Indianapolis, 7-0 in Lucas Oil Stadium and 6-0 in the RCA Dome. … The Colts complete regular-season play in Indianapolis at 6-2, losing to Philadelphia and New England. … Indianapolis is 10-2 in December during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. … The Colts have beaten the Texans five consecutive times. … Inactive for the Colts were CB Jeff Brown, LB Harold Muamba, C A.Q. Shipley, T Andrew McDonald, G Hugh Thomas, G Joe Reitz and DT Montori Hughes. … Inactive for the Texans were CB Thad Lewis, CB Andre Hall, S Josh Aubrey, OLB Whitney Mercilus, G Xavier Su-a-Flo, WR Andre Johnson and TE Garrett Graham.


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