Colts Clinch Playoff Berth in Rout of Ravens

Behind a defense that forced five turnovers and Peyton Manning's four touchdown passes, the Indianapolis Colts clinched their sixth straight playoff berth with a 44-20 undressing of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.

The win clinches a playoff berth for the Colts and keeps them in good position for the No. 2 seed in the AFC Playoffs. Pittsburgh's loss to New England gives the Colts a two-game lead with three games to play in the race for a first-round playoff bye.

The points came early and often for the Colts Sunday, as they took a 14-0 after just five minutes, 51 seconds gone in the game.

Peyton Manning tossed a touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne on the game's first possession, then the Colts recovered a Willis McGahee fumble on the Raven's first drive. Two plays later, Joseph Addai scored from one-yard out to give the Colts a 14-0 advantage.

Indianapolis would score touchdowns on its first four possessions and ran the lead up to 30-0 before Yamon Figurs broke up the shutout with a 94-yard kickoff return for Baltimore.


Gary Brackett
Mick Laham/Getty Images

The Colts defense was smothering and opportunistic Sunday, recovering two fumbles, making three interceptions and blocking a punt that resulted in a safety. Defensive captain and middle linebacker Gary Brackett had two of the interceptions.

Bob Sanders led the defense with 10 tackles, while Kelvin Hayden picked up the third interception. Robert Mathis and Jeff Charleston forced the two Baltimore fumbles, which were recovered by Marlin Jackson and Keyunta Dawson, respectively. Michael Coe recorded the blocked punt for Indianapolis.

Offensively, Manning was spectacular, completing 13-of-17 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns for a near-perfect passer rating of 157.5.

Joseph Addai had a light workload, carrying the ball just 13 times for 32 yards, but had a pair of touchdown runs and caught one of Manning's throws for a third score.

Rookie wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez continued to impress, catching his first NFL touchdown on a 57-yard toss from Manning. In the third quarter, Gonzalez added his second career touchdown, hauling in a 40-yard pass. Gonzalez led the Colts with six receptions for 134 yards.


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