Colts stay perfect with win over Texans
HOUSTON (AP) The Indianapolis Colts stayed perfect by extending their dominance of the Houston Texans.
Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns and the Colts rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit Sunday for a 35-27 win, their 20th straight regular-season victory. Indianapolis (11-0) is one win shy of the New England Patriots' NFL-record 21-game run from 2006-08. The Colts can tie the record if they beat Tennessee at home next weekend.
The Colts improved to 15-1 against Houston (5-6).
Manning threw two first-half interceptions, but had a pair of second-half TD passes, including a 4-yarder to Dallas Clark that gave the Colts a 21-20 lead with about nine minutes left.
Clint Session stretched the lead to 28-20 when he returned an interception by Matt Schaub 26 yards for a touchdown seconds later. Schaub fumbled on Houston's next possession and Chad Simpson's touchdown run put the game out of reach.
The Colts can clinch the AFC South title if the Jaguars lose to the 49ers later Sunday. The loss makes Houston's chances of earning its first playoff berth more dim.
Houston, which has lost three straight, was all but unstoppable in the first half, and the Texans scored on their first four possessions. It was a different story after halftime, with the Texans unable to get anything going offensively until Schaub hit Jacoby Jones for a touchdown with 18 seconds remaining.
The Colts' first lead came on Manning's touchdown pass to Clark. In what was a theme Sunday, the drive was helped by a 17-yard pass interference penalty on Houston.
It was the fifth straight week the Colts have trailed in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the period, Indianapolis had a first down at the Houston 13, but the next three plays netted 1 yard to set up a field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter. Matt Stover's 32-yard attempt sailed wide right to keep Houston's lead at 20-14.