Hous­ton gets tough on Luck, clinches South

Tex­ans bounce back from hu­mil­i­at­ing Mon­day night loss against New Eng­land.

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Kristie Rieken Also in­side Fal­cons pound Giants 34-0, Backup QB leads red­skins, Tex­ans C

HOUs­TON — The Hous­ton Tex­ans now own the AFC South, and they have a mes­sage for the rest of the NFL:

Last week’s de­ba­cle against New Eng­land was not the real Tex­ans.

The real Tex­ans, they claim, clinched the di­vi­sion for the sec­ond straight year with a 2917 vic­tory over Indianapolis.

“A lot of peo­ple were won­der­ing how we were go­ing to re­spond,” An­dre John­son said. “I think a lot of peo­ple doubted us af­ter what hap­pened last week. We (felt) like we had to show peo­ple what we were really about.”

They be­lieve they did so against the Colts, a team that dom­i­nated the di­vi­sion for years be­fore Hous­ton’s re­cent rise.

But Sun­day’s cel­e­bra­tions were more sub­dued than last year’s. This time the Tex­ans ex­pected to win the di­vi­sion, and have much big­ger goals C5 C5 ahead.

“It’s awe­some,” J.J. Watt said. “But there’s a lot more fun ahead, so I hope ev­ery­body is not cel­e­brat­ing too early.”

John­son gained 151 yards re­ceiv­ing and a touch­down, Bryan Bra­man had a spe­cial teams score on a blocked punt, and Shayne Gra­ham kicked five field goals.

The Tex­ans (12-2) grabbed their first AFC South ti­tle last sea­son af­ter the Colts nose­dived with­out in­jured quar­ter­back Pey­ton Man­ning. Man­ning is gone to Den­ver and rookie An­drew Luck couldn’t do much against the in­spired Hous­ton de­fense.

The Colts (9-5) had won three straight games and needed a win to clinch a play­off berth a year af­ter go­ing 2-14 in 2011. Be­fore that, they took the di­vi­sion seven times since Hous­ton en­tered the league in 2002.

“It was a tough loss for us in that we came here with one

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