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The Colts are back on top in the AFC South

Tyjuan Hagler

Just when you thought they were out, the Colts have pulled the AFC South lead back in.

Indy controls its own fate in the division after Sunday’s 34-24 home win against a Jaguars team that has made a habit of blowing chances at winning the division during the Jack Del Rio era. The result was in doubt late when Mike Sims-Walker caught a touchdown to cut the Colts’ lead to three points, but Tyjuan Hagler returned the ensuing onside kick 41 yards for the icing on the cake.

Hagler’s play wasn’t the only big second half swing. The Jaguars turned the ball over twice in the final 30 minutes, the only two turnovers of the game, and both of them were costly. Adam Vinatieri hit field goals to put the Colts up two scores after both Mike Thomas’s muffed punt and David Garrard’s interception, with both scores giving the Colts breathing room they wound up needing as the game progressed. Also costly was Del Rio’s decision to go for it on fourth down of the first possession of the third quarter which failed and led to a Donald Brown touchdown run.

Brown had a big day for the Colts, finishing with 129 yards that gave the Indy offense much-needed balance against the Jags. Peyton Manning has had gaudier numbers than his 229 passing yards and two touchdowns, but he was very efficient and avoided the interceptions that helped put the Colts on such shaky ground coming into this game.

For the Jaguars, the good news is that their final two games – Washington, at Houston — are easier than the Colts’ closing run of a trip to Oakland and a visit for the Titans. The bad news is that winning both games guarantees them nothing and that the Wild Card race doesn’t hold much promise for them at this point. If they want to kick themselves about something this week, it will likely be the inability to establish a running game against the Colts. Maurice Jones-Drew had just 46 yards on 15 carries as the Jags were forced to rely heavily on Garrard over the course of the afternoon.

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11 Responses to “The Colts are back on top in the AFC South”
  1. 8man says: Dec 19, 2010 5:35 PM

    Of course they are. They have Peyton Manning. As this team gets healthier, they’ll get better. And more dangerous. As I said to the rest of the division; you aren’t worthy. Thanks for playing.

    Indy begin printing your playoff tickets. Could be third seed, could be fourth seed.

    What’s incredibly coincidental is that the Colts and Chiefs play the same teams the rest of the way: the Titans and the Raiders. And the Super Chargers are still lurking about…..the drama builds.

    Great stuff!

  2. nationalmediacansuckit says: Dec 19, 2010 6:03 PM

    Way to let this one slip away Jags. You had this game won, but not converting the 4th and 1 lead to that fluky Brown 30+ yard TD. 1st and goal on the 1 yard line you settle for a field goal. The Jags left easy points on the field. Indy didn’t do anything spectacular. Way to beat yourself Jags.

  3. zoxitic says: Dec 19, 2010 6:18 PM

    Congrats. Just gotta hope you don’t stumble in Oakland.

  4. gotitan says: Dec 19, 2010 6:20 PM

    Beep, Beep, Beep….that is the Titan backing into the Playoffs….Beep, Beep, Beep…

  5. somesome says: Dec 19, 2010 6:24 PM

    Manning is quickly turning into serial killer for his own team mates … when is the media starting to questioning Manning’s play????

  6. barneyrumble says: Dec 19, 2010 6:59 PM

    Austin Collie did not look well at all on the sidelines. He didn’t even look like the same person before and after that hit. I doubt we see him again this seaon which is sad because the Blue could use his skills, and he loves the game.

    Indy has to go to Oakland and escape with a win and then get past a Titan team with nothing else to play for except screwing Indy, and those are two dangerous situations, so no playoff tix printed just yet.

    Oakland is rather bipolar and if the good Raider team shows up, it could be time for them to end the Colts run. if the other Raider team shows up, Colts win easy, then the Colts have to get past the Titans who again have nothing else to play for.

    The Colts have it in their hands to lose but I hope there are a cople more weeks of disharmony and miscommunication in Oakland and Nashville.

  7. pftrumors says: Dec 19, 2010 7:30 PM

    It was a must win.

    The last games the Colts have on the docket will display a wild departure from the let’s heal for the playoffs mentality. A time formerly known as “The Jim Sorgi Show”.

    On the other hand, Donald Brown is the real deal.

  8. cantarguefacts says: Dec 19, 2010 10:42 PM

    @nationalmediacansuckit

    LOL what game were you watching? The Jags played at Indy today. They didnt give anything away. They were outplayed. The Colts shouldve ran away with it. The Jags are lucky they lost by only 10. MJD rushed for 47 yards…thats not the Jags fault…that the Colts D stepping up (finally)
    Dont kid yourself about todays game. Idk how good the Colts really are but today they were better than the Jags.

  9. obsession55 says: Dec 20, 2010 6:40 PM

    somesome says:
    Dec 19, 2010 6:24 PM
    Manning is quickly turning into serial killer for his own team mates … when is the media starting to questioning Manning’s play????

    How is it Peyton’s fault that a defender clubbed Collie with a forearm?? Its sad that he keeps getting these concussions, I wouldnt be surprised if his career is over, but its no ones fault. Except maybe the Colts organization for putting him on the field. But then again he certainly looked healthy in the first half with 86 yards and 2 TD’s!! It’s just sad…he could’ve been a great player

  10. obsession55 says: Dec 20, 2010 6:41 PM

    And cantarguefacts, thank you very much for responding to that fool. Its amazing how someone can watch a game and be 100% wrong about it!!

  11. nationalmediacansuckit says: Dec 21, 2010 8:01 AM

    @cantarguefacts
    @obsession55

    Since you guys are homers and know nothing of football ball let this fool give you some insight.

    1. Granted, the Colts outplayed the Jags, but 130 for Donald Brown, seriously. You guys haven’t rushed for over 100 yards in 3 seasons and Brown has never even sniffed 60 yards let alone 129.

    2. 1st and goal on the ONE yard line, you guys stepped up and made a great stop. 99.9% of the time that is 6 points which resulted in a field goal for the Jags.

    3. The Colts defender who the Jags player blocked into Mike Thomas for the Colts recovery. Fluky play that rarely happens. That recovery resulted into Colts field goal.

    4. The 4th and 1 that the Jags went for on the 38 yards line that is 99% has always been a 1st down with Garrard up the middle, but b/c of communication problems the wrong play was ran which resulted in turnover on downs. That resulted into a Donald Brown 30+ yard TD.

    5. The onside kick that would have been Jags ball had Caldwell not called a timout. It was that obvious. The the horrible second onside kick that resulted in a TD.

    Don’t let the 34-24 score fool you. You guys played a good game, but the Jags beat themselves more than the Colts beating the Jags. If the shoes were on the other foot, I would admit it, but I’m neutral and you’re homers. But it is what it is, you won. By the way, you’re welcome ahead of time for the insight. I’ll be here anytime you need me.

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