The Colts played it like the first 13, and just like the first 13, they won it.
Without corner Jerraud Powers and with Freeney and Mathis in limited roles the Colts D struggled for 3 quarters allowing a score on every Jags drive and only holding to a FG once. 31 points in 5 drives. The story changed in the 4th quarter when the Jags were forced into their first punt of the game, then the 2nd, and the 3rd, before their last chance drive was ended by the Jacob Lacey interception. 4 drives, 0 points.The bright spot of the D was Eric Foster stepping into the pass rushing void left by Freeney and Mathis' limited PT with 2 sacks and a fumble forced.
The Colts O put up the offensive fireworks we've come to expect with 4 TDs in 7 drives. Peyton Manning completed 23 of 30 passes for 308 yards and 4 TDs. Clark and Wayne were the primary targets combining for 227 yards and 3 TDs on 12 receptions.
Special teams put up 7 points that were crucial to the victory, but were also a major factor in the D's struggle, as well as holding back the offense. I guess it's only fitting that a game between Russ Purnell's former and current employers featured awful ST play all around.
The Colts have gone to 14-0, now the (depressing) question is, at what cost? Pierre Garcon left the game with a bruised hand in the 1st half and didn't return (despite the Colts reporting his return as probable). Melvin Bullitt missed several series before returning. Chad Simpson left and didn't return with a chest injury (return was reported as questionable). The game was won, but the suspense isn't over yet.
[UPDATE]: Colts swept the AFC South, arguably the best division in football, in the regular season for the first time since 2005. Colts win their 23rd straight regular season game. Colts are 14-0 for the first time in franchise history. Colts also won their 7th fourth quarter comeback victory this year, also an NFL record.
Bob Lamey reported on HANK FM that Garcon has a bruised hand. Bruised chest for Chad Simpson. --bbs
Week 15 game ball:
Peyton Manning: 76% comp, 308 yards, 4 TDs, INT off tip (882 votes)
Dallas Clark: 7 for 95, 2 TDs, tipped pass for INT (64 votes)
Reggie Wayne: 5 for 132, game winning TD (113 votes)
Eric Foster: 2 drive ending sacks, FF (194 votes)
Jacob Lacey: 5 tackles, 1 pass defenced, game ending INT (88 votes)
1341 total votes