Final

Colts 35

(11-0, 6-0 away)

Texans 27

(5-6, 2-4 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, November 29, 2009

NRG Stadium, Houston, TX 

1 2 3 4 T
IND 0 7 7 2135
HOU 14 6 0 727

Top Performers

Passing: M. Schaub (HOU) - 284 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: J. Addai (IND) - 15 CAR, 69 YDS

Receiving: K. Walter (HOU) - 7 REC, 73 YDS

Colts upend Texans with big 4th then take AFC South after Jags loss

Associated Press

HOUSTON -- The AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts have perfected the art of the comeback in their undefeated march into the playoffs.

Pasquarelli: Colts rally

Coming back from early deficits, both big and small, has become a hallmark of an Indianapolis team that won its first six games by an average of 17.0 points, writes Len Pasquarelli. Story

Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns and the Colts rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit Sunday for a 35-27 win over the Texans, 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) in their fifth straight come-from-behind win. They became the first team to secure a playoff berth and gained the AFC South title Sunday evening when San Francisco beat Jacksonville 20-3.

"That's our goal coming into training camp," safety Antoine Bethea said. "We wanted to win our division."

Making The Most Of It

Peyton Manning turned a 43-yard pass interference penalty against Houston in the third quarter into a turning point for himself and the Colts.

Before After
Comp-att 13-16 14-19
Pass yds. 118 126
TD-INT 1-2 2-0
Passer rtg. 78.6 126.2
Score margin Minus-13 Plus-8

Manning and the Colts kept their cool after falling behind in the first half.

"We don't get overexcited certainly when things aren't going the way we want them to," Manning said. "We don't panic, we don't yell, we don't throw helmets. We just try to put the series behind us and move on to the next one. There was a lot of that [Sunday]."

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.

"That's a good team over there, but we're the Colts," Session said. "We do things the right way and we try to get every win we can get."

Schaub fumbled on Houston's next possession and Chad Simpson's touchdown run put the game out of reach.

Fast Facts

• The Colts became the second team in NFL history to win 20 straight regular-season games. They are one shy of the Patriots' streak from 2006-08 for the longest in NFL history.

• Indy is the first team in NFL history with seven straight seasons with at least 11 wins.

• Peyton Manning had his third straight game with at least two interceptions, his longest streak since 2001.

• The Colts have won five straight games when trailing in the fourth quarter.

• Bloggers' reactions

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"If you doubt, you're done," Reggie Wayne said. "It's just like showing a bad poker face. If they see that, you're in trouble. Guys just stick with it. We knew the defense was going to pick it up. We know we have to take care of the offense and get some drives going."

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.

"This isn't the first time this has happened to us," Andre Johnson said. "It's just real frustrating. I'm very upset with myself. It's kind of sounding like a broken record, we've just got to find a way to play for four quarters."

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.

Matt Stover's missed a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to keep Houston's lead at 20-14.

In the third quarter, the Texans were called for pass interference on third-and-goal from the 8-yard line, giving the Colts a first down at the 1. Wayne caught a touchdown pass three plays later to make it 20-14.

Houston's Jacques Reeves got a 43-yard pass interference penalty on the third play of that drive.

"You can't play a half against this football team," Houston cornerback Dunta Robinson said. "We knew coming out of halftime that this game was far from over. ... [Manning] is great. He's going to find a way to not get sacked and he's going to find a way to make plays and that's what he did."

Manning finished 27-of-35 for 244 yards. Schaub was 31-of-42 for 284 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.

The Colts' first score came when Manning found Pierre Garcon for a 9-yard touchdown about six minutes before halftime. That drive was helped by a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on Antonio Smith for hitting Manning in the facemask.

Houston scored on its first possession for the first time this season when Schaub completed an 11-play, 79-yard drive with a 7-yard pass to Vonta Leach to make it 7-0. The Texans marched downfield again on the next drive and went up 14-0 on a 5-yard run by Chris Brown.

Manning was under heavy pressure when he threw an interception to Brian Cushing early in the second quarter. The Texans got to the Indianapolis 12 before Kris Brown's 35-yard field goal pushed the lead to 17-0. Brown also made a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter.

"We've been really, really good and then poor in some situations, so it's my job to find some consistency," Houston coach Gary Kubiak said.

Game notes


The Colts were without star defensive end Dwight Freeney, out with an abdomen injury. ... Brown and Steve Slaton combined for 113 yards rushing for Houston.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
IND
HOU
1st Downs2827
Passing 1st downs
1618
Rushing 1st downs
89
1st downs from penalties
40
3rd down efficiency
2-64-8
4th down efficiency
1-10-0
Total Plays6068
Total Yards342396
Yards per play5.75.8
Total Drives1011
Passing228274
Comp-Att
27-3531-42
Yards per pass
6.26.2
Interceptions thrown
22
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-162-10
Rushing114122
Rushing Attempts
2324
Yards per rush
5.05.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-43-5
Penalties3-2510-129
Turnovers23
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
22
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession28:0831:52

Passing Leaders

INDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning27/352447.0322-16
HOUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Schaub31/422846.8222-10

Rushing Leaders

INDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Addai15694.6015
Brown5275.409
HOUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Slaton10575.7012
Brown11565.1112

Receiving Leaders

INDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Collie47017.5031
Clark9637.0111
HOURECYDSAVGTDLG
Walter77310.4022
Johnson56713.4021

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERINDHOU
houTD8:31Vonta Leach 7 Yard Pass From Matt Schaub (Kris Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 79 yds, 6:35
07
houTD2:16Chris Brown 5 Yard Run (Kris Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 66 yds, 3:46
014
SECOND QUARTERINDHOU
houFG10:54Kris Brown 35 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 23 yds, 3:57
017
indTD6:38Pierre Garcon 9 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 74 yds, 5:03
717
houFG1:05Kris Brown 33 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 65 yds, 4:46
720
THIRD QUARTERINDHOU
indTD11:26Reggie Wayne 4 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 3:40
1420
FOURTH QUARTERINDHOU
indTD8:28Dallas Clark 6 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 89 yds, 2:50
2120
indTD8:17Clint Session 27 Yard Interception Return (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 0 yds, 0:15
2820
indTD2:59Chad Simpson 23 Yard Run (Matt Stover Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 37 yds, 1:43
3520
houTD0:25Jacoby Jones 10 Yard Pass From Matt Schaub (Kris Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 75 yds, 2:34
3527