Week 17 AFC South Roundup: Colts Turn Attention to Playoffs


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the regular season concluded, the Indianapolis Colts set their sights on the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs, while the Titans, Jaguars and Texans are locked in to their draft slots.

Here's the detailed rundown for how each of the Titans' division rivals fared in the final week of the season.

Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

The Colts topped the Titans 27-10 at LP Field to get their 11th win and earn the #4 seed in the AFC playoffs.

Andrew Luck threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns before exiting the game after halftime. Former Titan Matt Hasselbeck added another 155 yards and one touchdown, playing the final two quarters. Coby Fleener caught two of the three touchdowns with five receptions for 56 yards.

The Colts' defense held the Titans to just 50 net passing yards as starter Charlie Whitehurst threw for 72 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

Indy's continued struggles in the running game have to be worrisome going into the playoffs. Daniel Herron's 35 yards on 10 carries led a Colts team that managed just 64 yards in a game in which Indy held a double-digit lead for the majority of the contest. The Colts will need more from their running game when trying to bleed the clock and preserve a lead next week.

Week 17 Star: Andrew Luck – QB

No one was sure how much Luck would play against the Titans, but two first half touchdowns had coach Chuck Pagano feeling his franchise player was more than ready for the playoffs.

Wild Card Matchup: vs. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) – Sunday January 4th, 12:05 p.m. CT

The Colts dominated the Week 7 matchup between these two teams, shutting out the Bengals 27-0. One would think this game will be far more competitive.

Houston Texans (9-7)

Houston's playoff dream was alive and real. The Texans beat the Jaguars, 23-17, the Chiefs beat the Chargers 19-7 and the Browns were ahead of the Ravens 10-6 in the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately the dream wasn't to be as Joe Flacco – as he's done so many times – led a late comeback, throwing two fourth quarter touchdowns to give the Ravens a 20-10 win and a ticket to the postseason.

Quarterback Case Keenum improved his record to 2-0 in 2014, throwing for 250 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Andre Johnson looked like his vintage self, hauling in 10 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown.

Arian Foster caught a 10-yard touchdown pass and ran the ball five times for 23 yards before leaving the game due to injury.

Houston's defense stifled Blake Bortles all game long, holding the rookie to just 117 passing yards and no touchdowns. In fact, wide receiver Cecil Shorts delivered the Jaguars' lone offensive touchdown of the day, a 23-yard pass to Jordan Todman.

Week 17 Star: J.J. Watt – DE

It could have been Johnson, but Watt added one final stake to his claim for the league's MVP honor, recording six tackles, including four for loss, three sacks, six quarterback hits and one forced fumble. His final sack came in the end zone for a safety.

His remarkable season totals look like this – 20.5 sacks, two defensive touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns, three forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries. The decision for MVP between Watt and Aaron Rodgers is the most intriguing in recent memory.

2015 Draft Slot: 16th

A late 5-2 surge in the Texans' final seven games gave them a shot at the playoffs, but also cost them a top 15 pick in the draft. They are slated now to pick 16th overall in the first round on April 30.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13)

A first quarter pick-six from cornerback Dwayne Gratz and Shorts' third quarter touchdown pass gave the Texans a 17-14 lead into the fourth quarter. Even after Houston's go-ahead touchdown and ensuing safety, Jacksonville still had its chance.

On the Jaguars' final possession, Bortles moved the team from its own 15-yard line to first-and-goal at the Houston 10. Jacksonville got as close as the five-yard line before consecutive incompletions on third and fourth down.

Two Keenum kneel-downs later and the Jaguars season was over at 3-13, one game worse than its 4-12 record in 2013.

Week 17 Star: Cecil Shorts – WR

In addition to his touchdown pass, Shorts led the Jaguars with five receptions for 47 yards.

2015 Draft Slot: 3rd

Jacksonville will draft right after the Titans, marking the team's fourth consecutive season with a top five pick.


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