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Colts fend off Texans to clinch AFC South title

The Indianapolis Colts (10-4) fended off the Houston Texans (7-7) to clinch the AFC South division title and a third-straight playoff appearance in a 17-10 victory. Our takeaways:

  1. Andrew Luck displayed inconsistency for the second straight week in one of his poorest performance of the season as Indy clinched the AFC South. The Colts' quarterback started incredibly shaky early, throwing a pick six on his third possession (seventh since 2012). Two possessions later he went 6-of-6 passing on a beautiful 78-yard touchdown drive. Luck completed just 18 of 34 passes for 187 yards (his second lowest output of the season) and twotouchdowns. However, a win's a win, and the Colts are going to the playoffs. Get pumped, Indy!
  1. Luckily for the Colts, Houston couldn't take advantage of Indy's uninspired play due to their quarterback situation. Ryan Fitzpatrick's season ended in the second quarter when he was carted off with a broken leg, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Rookie Tom Savage, who had never thrown an NFL pass, took over. After completing his first throw, the fourth-round pick looked completely overwhelmed. He struggled with several handoffs and miscommunications. One botched handoff led to a fumble and the Colts' second touchdown. Savage made two nice deep throws (35 and 30 yards) but was mostly ineffective on anything other than short, first-look reads. He finished 10 of 19 for 127 yards and a game-sealing interception. It's hard to expect much from a rookie who wasn't getting practice reps.

  1. J.J. Watt and the Houston defense did what they could to keep its team in the game. Watt had two first-half sacks, a blocked pass and two quarterback hits. The Texans' defensive line dominated up front early, putting pressure on Luck. That pressure helped lead to the pick six, Houston's only touchdown. However, it looked like a group that wore down at the end.
  1. The Colts' offense struggles when they can't bust out long scoring plays. Luck missed a few opportunities early and the Texans' defense didn't allow receivers to get deep. The Colts' ground game was nonexistent until the final field-goal drive -- all runs (nine) for 47 yards. The imbalance could hurt come playoff time.
  1. Arian Foster tried to carry the Houston offense with 26 totes for 99 yards (3.8 yards per carry), but aside from an 18-yard run, he couldn't bust loose. DeAndre Hopkins was the only viable option in the passing game, catching five balls for 77 yards.
  1. The Texans have still never won in Indy.

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