INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts (9-4) escaped Cleveland (7-6) with a thrilling come from behind victory on Sunday afternoon.
With the 25-24 victory, the Colts are now just one game away from clinching the AFC South for a second straight season.
Next week is the Colts final home game of the regular season with Houston (7-6) coming to Lucas Oil Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
COMEBACK ACT—It’s been a while since Andrew Luck has executed a comeback victory after registering a record seven during his rookie season. On Sunday, Luck led the Colts on an 11-play, 90-yard game-winning drive with a pair of third-down conversions and a fourth-and-one that had the game in its balance. The Colts know that as long as they can keep it within striking distance, No. 12 has the capability to produce late game magic.
DEFENSE GAINING STEAM – For the third straight week, the Colts defense was very solid. With the Browns looking to expand a multiple possession lead, the Colts stood tall. In the second half, the Browns amassed just 61 total yards in 25 plays with seven drives ending in five punts, one interception and one field goal in sudden change.
OFFENSIVE LINE NEXT MEN UP – The Colts offensive line ran out of bodies on Sunday. With injuries to Jonottahn Harrison (burner) and Joe Reitz (ankle), the Colts used up all seven of their active linemen. Both A.Q. Shipley and Khaled Holmes filled in nicely and provided Andrew Luck with some extended time to throw in the second half.
T.Y. HILTON’S PRO BOWL CAMPAIGN – Facing Browns cornerback Joe Haden, T.Y. Hilton knew things would be difficult on Sunday. After just one catch in the first half, Hilton exploded for nine catches in the second half and finished the night with 150 receiving yards. The 100-yard day for Hilton was his sixth of the season and he fell one reception short of a career-high.
AFC SOUTH CROWN IN SIGHT – Late in the second half on Sunday, it looked like the Colts AFC South lead was going to dwindle to just one game with Houston coming to Indianapolis next week. However, thanks to the late game heroics the lead for the Colts stayed at two games. Things get a bit tricky down the stretch if the Colts were to lose on Sunday. Basically, no matter what happens to the Texans over the last three weeks, the Colts just need a win this Sunday or in Week 17 vs. the Titans to win the AFC South (for tiebreaker purposes).
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