Defense Bends, Doesn't Break vs. Jags

The Indianapolis Colts had not given up a touchdown after an offensive turnover all season long. That was until Thursday night's game at Jacksonville. Indianapolis' defensive unit has played well all season long, especially in the past three or four weeks. But the Colts had their struggles at times against a Jaguars offense that has been up-and-down throughout the season.

"It wasn't pretty, but we always find a way to win somehow," defensive end Dwight Freeney said afterward. "That the good sign of a good playoff team."

The 31 points allowed to Jacksonville was the second-most points given up by Indianapolis this season.

"It's not fun, but (Thursday night's win) was like that. The main thing is to stay focused, stay calm and not panic," rookie cornerback Jacob Lacey said. His interception of a David Garrard pass with just under two minutes remaining in the game sealed the win for the Colts.

Freeney and fellow defensive end Robert Mathis both saw spot duty in the game due to nagging injuries that have bothered them for the last couple of weeks. But they managed to find their ways into the game late in the fourth quarter.

"Last drive (for the Jaguars), we had to get in there," Freeney said. "We were on a pitch count. We were on a 10-to-15 play pitch count. And we exceeded that just a little bit. But the game plan worked. We won the game. That's the most important thing."

NOTES, QUOTES

— The Colts have now registered 12 straight road wins with the 35-31 victory at Jacksonville Thursday night. That improves on a team record that Indianapolis set this year.

— Indianapolis posted 14 wins in a season for only the second time in franchise history. The Colts did it in 2005 when they went 14-2.

— "There was no lobbying last week. It's not really set up for that. Whatever (Jim Caldwell) tells us to do, we'll do. But I don't think we have one guy in the locker room who will tell you, 'No, I don't want to play.' That tells you we've got the right kinds of guys. But whatever coach Caldwell tell us to do, we'll do." — Quarterback Peyton Manning on the possibility to playing against the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills in the final two games of the regular season.

— "We got a great rhythm going now. I don't want to stop now." — Center Jeff Saturday on whether he'll be playing against the Jets and Bills in the final two games of the regular season.

— "We had already clinched the division, but it's nice to run the (division) table too. That says a lot about the kind of team we have here. We treat every game the same. It was big to come down (to Jacksonville) and get a win." — Safety Antoine Bethea on the Colts sweeping the AFC south teams this year.

— WR Pierre Garcon hurt his hand and saw little playing time in the second half of the Jacksonville game. Garcon's status for the New York Jets game won't be determined until next week.

— WR Hank Baskett saw his first extensive amount of playing time for the Colts. Signed to the roster in September, he had been relegated to special teams and occasional work on offense.

— PK Matt Stover has now scored 2,003 points during his NFL career. That is fourth all-time among NFL kickers.

— TE Dallas Clark has now hauled in 41 touchdown receptions in his NFL career, moving ahead of former Baltimore Colts TE Jim Mutscheller's total of 40. Clark's 41 receiving touchdowns is a franchise record for a Colts tight end.

— QB Peyton Manning has thrown for 4,000 or more yards in a season a league record 10 times. He now has 4,213 yards passing this year.


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