The Washington Times-Herald

Indianapolis Colts

December 9, 2012

Colts playoff push nears end

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts’ improbable run continued Sunday with a 27-23 victory against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The game hewed close to a familiar script on many themes. Indianapolis improved to 8-1 in games decided by one score or less, and it was the seventh straight home game to come down to the final drive.

But the Colts (9-4) tweaked the ending a bit this time around. It was the defense making the big, game-changing plays and the offense holding on to the lead late.

“It was a great team win again, and like I said earlier, there won’t be any blowouts with this team,” Indianapolis interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce 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 latest victory brings the Colts to the brink of the postseason.

Losses by the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) and Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) on Sunday gave Indianapolis a two-game lead for the AFC’s fifth playoff spot with three regular-season games to play.

The formula for the Colts clinching a playoff spot remains convoluted, taking into account possibilities such as the 6-7 New York Jets winning out and the Bengals and Steelers playing to a tie in their Dec. 23 meeting.

Indianapolis also will remain alive in the race for the AFC South title if the 11-1 Houston Texans lose tonight against the 9-3 New England Patriots.

With so much uncertainty remaining in the picture, it’s best the Colts remain focused on tending to their own business.

Against Tennessee (4-9) that meant overcoming a rugged first half that left Indianapolis with a 20-7 deficit.

Andrew Luck was responsible for part of that margin, throwing his third interception that was returned for a touchdown late in the second quarter with the Colts trailing 10-7.

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