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Indianapolis Colts' playoff magic number now is 1

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cory Redding struggled through his postgame interviews after his Indianapolis Colts beat the Tennessee Titans 27-23. The Colts trailed 20-7 at halftime, and the captain spoke up -- and lost his voice in the process.

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Whatever he said worked because the Colts continued to snatch victory from defeat during this unpredictable season. They're now 9-4 with a magic number of 1 to clinch an AFC playoff spot.

"I enjoy winning, I don't care how we get it," the defensive lineman said. "We always say get comfortable with being uncomfortable. When you're in adverse situations, that's when you should thrive. We've been showing that week in and week out. I guess we like it tough.

"We're all in. We're in Vegas, we have no chips left. We done pushed everything in."

The Colts now are 8-1 in one possession games. They've trailed in the fourth quarter in four of their nine wins. They trailed in the second half of five victories. They were tied with the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter and still won.

"It's unbelievable, man, how special this team could be if we just put 60 minutes together," Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne said. "We just keep finding ways to win. ... Keep pushing, no matter what the score is at the half. ... Whatever we've got to do. We would much rather go into the fourth quarter, I wouldn't say cruise, but be sitting comfortable. But whatever we have to do.

"It's just a bunch of young guys ... we don't know any better. Down by 20, keep playing."


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Quarterback Andrew Luck didn't have his best game, but he extended his rookie record of six fourth-quarter/overtime comebacks. He was sacked four times, threw two interceptions and had a 50.6 passer rating. Luck's touch was slightly off, but he did enough to keep his team in position to win.

"He's resilient," Colts interim coach Bruce Arians said. "He doesn't let one play dictate to him what's going to happen on the next play. He's got an unbelievable resolve about him to go on to the next one.

"Can't say enough about him because I think that's what separates him from other young quarterbacks."

Defensive end Dwight Freeney said he wishes the wins didn't have to be so stressful. But it's much better than two total wins in 2011.

The Colts simply are talented enough to beat most teams in the league, but they also could lose to any of them.

"There won't be any blowouts with this team," Arians said. "This team is too young. We just try to figure out a way to win every week, and so far we've been able to do that."

The Colts will earn a playoff berth if they do it one more time in the next three weeks.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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