Colts dom­i­nate Tex­ans in­Wild Card

Daily Southtown (Sunday) - - SPORTS - By Kristie Rieken

HOUS­TON — An­drew Luck threw for 222 yards and two touch­downs, and the Colts raced out to a big lead and cruised to a 21-7 win over the Tex­ans in a wild-card play­off game Sat­ur­day.

Luck put on a showin his home­town, throw­ing for 191 yards and two touch­downs be­fore half­time to help the Colts build a 21-0 lead.

TheColts ad­vance to face the top-seeded Chiefs in the di­vi­sional round nex­tweek­end.

The Tex­ans, who over­came an 0-3 start to win the AFC South, gave up too many big plays and couldn’t get any­thing go­ing on of­fense in the first half as they fell into the huge hole.

De­shaun Wat­son, who was sacked an NFL-lead­ing 62 times in the reg­u­lar sea­son, was sacked three times and hit eight more times in a dis­ap­point­ing play­off de­but. He fin­ished with 235 yards pass­ing with a touch­down and an in­ter­cep­tion.

The Colts, who opened the sea­son 1-5, con­tin­ued an im­pres­sive run by win­ning their fifth straight and for the 10th time in 11 games. Sat­ur­day was their first play­off ap­pear­ance since the AFC cham­pi­onship game loss at New Eng­land in the “De­flate­gate” game in the 2014 sea­son.

It was an­other good game in a splen­did sea­son for Luck, who grew up in a sub­urb ofHous­ton.

He threw for 4,593 yards and 39 touch­downs in the reg­u­lar sea­son af­ter miss­ing all of 2017 with a shoul­der in­jury.

The Tex­ans didn’t score un­til rookie Keke Coutee grabbed a 6-yard touch­down pass to cap a 16-play, 89-yard drive that in­cluded a fourth-down con­ver­sion that cut it to 21-7 with about 11 min­utes left.

The Tex­ans led the NFL with nine come­back wins this sea­son, but their at- tempt at a rally ended on their next pos­ses­sion when Wat­son’s pass on fourt­hand-10 fromthe Colts 24fell short with about four min­utes left.

Luck threw for 863 yards with six touch­downs as the teams split two meet­ings in the reg­u­lar sea­son. He picked up right where he left off in this one when he found Eric Ebron for a 6-yard touch­down on their first drive.

That play was set up by a 38-yard catch byT.Y. Hilton, who had 63 yards re­ceiv­ing on that drive.

Hilton didn’t have any catches on the next drive, but the Colts still drove down the field eas­ily and made it 14-0 on a 2-yard run byMack later in the first.

Hous­ton went for it on fourth-and-4 fromthe In­di­anapo­lis 45 on its sec­ond pos­ses­sion andWat­son was in­ter­cepted by Kenny Moore II.

It was his first in­ter­cep­tion since he threw two against the Red­skins on Nov. 18.

The Colts got to the 17 af­ter that be­fore J.J. Watt de­flected Luck’s pass and hewas in­ter­cepted byBran­don Dunn. But the Tex­ans couldn’t move the ball and had to punt.

In­di­anapo­lis pushed the lead to 21-0 when Luck con­nected with Don­trelle In­man on an 18-yard touch­down pass in the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Colts will now have to travel to Kansas City, where the Chief­swere 7-1 in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

MICHAEL WYKE/AP

In­di­anapo­lis Colts quar­ter­back An­drew Luck (12) throws against the Hous­ton Tex­ans dur­ing the first half on Sat­ur­day.

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