NASHVILLE TN - DECEMBER 09: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 9 2010 in Nashville Tennessee. The Colts won 30-28. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

NFL Week 15, Colts Vs. Jaguars: Peyton Manning Leads Colts To 34-24 Victory, Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive

The Indianapolis Colts host the Jacksonville Jaguars with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance. A loss to the first place Jags and the Colts are likely out from playoff contention.

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Colts Vs. Jaguars: Colts Defense Continues To Dominate, Helps Maintain 27-17 Lead

The Colts jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in this game, and have never looked back. They have lead throughout the entire game, and the Jaguars have had to alter their style of play to play “catch-up” as a result.

QB Peyton Manning has been phenomenal, completing 29 of 39 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

The Colts’ main reason for their lead is their new-found running game. RB Donald Brown has averaged nine yards per carry, with 14 rushes for 129 yards and one touchdown.

QB David Garrard has stepped his game up in the second half after a slow start. He has completed 23 of 34 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns (one interception as well).

Colts were expected to see a heavy dose of Jaguars’ running game but defended it well: RB Maurice Jones-Drew rushed 15 times for 46 yards. The Colts have now re-gained the division lead in the AFC South with two games remaining.

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VIDEO: Austin Collie Injury; Colts Receiver Leaves Field In First Game Back From Concussion


WR Austin Collie has been the story of today’s game. In his first game back in weeks from injury, he has caught two touchdown passes and is a big reason the Indianapolis Colts currently lead the Jacksonville Jaguars, 14-10.

Unfortunately, he endured another awful hit in the second quarter of the game, when he beat CB William Middleton. It looked as if LB Daryl Smith dropped back and was rolling coverage over to Collie. When Collie found the seam in the zone and Peyton Manning hit him for a completion, Smith came over the middle and drilled Collie.

It was a clean hit; unfortunately, because of the angle, Collie was rendered a bit defenseless and his head collided with Smith’s chest. Collie laid down for a bit as it appeared that he was knocked unconscious,  and was then was helped off the field and proceeded to leave the game.

The official report is that he suffered another concussion, and is ruled OUT for the rest of the game.

Our prayers are with Collie as he recovers from his third concussion of the season, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

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Colts Vs. Jaguars: Austin Collie Catches Second Touchdown Of The Game; Gives Colts 14-3 Lead

Austin Collie has just caught his second touchdown pass of the day from Peyton Manning; he is proving to be the Jaguars worst nightmare today.

Collie, who has been unlucky and suffered a barrage of injuries this year, including a serious concussion, really came to play and has done a great job getting himself open. Peyton Manning has been hitting him in stride and the two have combined for a pair of touchdowns in this first half.

Jaguars have been looking to establish the run and keep Manning off the field. Unfortunately, Colts have been pretty stout in defending it early. Jones-Drew already has 12 carries, but for only 32 yards. QB David Garrard has completed four of seven passes for 42 yards.

Manning has started off the game on fire; completing 13 of 15 passes, two of which went for touchdowns to Collie. Collie has five receptions for 68 yards.

The Colts have racked up 188 total yards, while the Jaguars have only 76.

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Colts Vs. Jaguars: Colts Strike First On Austin Collie Touchdown; Lead 7-0

Coming into this game, the Indianapolis Colts had scored an opening drive touchdown in their last three of five games against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Make that four of six.

Colts came out with a masterful drive, mixing up RB Donald Brown out of the backfield with their prolific passing game. Brown had one 49-yard run straight up the middle and almost took it to the house for a touchdown . After which, QB Peyton Manning found WR Austin Collie in the corner of the end zone for the score.

The Jaguars, on the other hand, did not look good on their first possession. They currently have -5 passing yards and 5 rushing yards, and went “three and out” on their first drive of the game.

The Colts have four first downs, while the Jaguars have none. Keep it here; we expect plenty more fireworks in this huge divisional matchup.

There are a lot of playoff implications on the line, and the winner of this game will take the division lead in the AFC South.

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Colts Vs. Jaguars: Indianapolis Fights For Playoff Lives Against First Place Jags

(Sports Network) - This is unfamiliar territory for Peyton Manning.

By the time of the year, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback is accustomed to questions about dwindling playing time as his team preps for a long-assured playoff berth.

Just last season, in fact, the Colts stirred controversy by benching the multi- time NFL MVP in favor of understudy Curtis Painter, effectively ending their chances at a 16-0 run.

But things are a little different in 2010.

Instead of playing out a postseason-bound string, Manning and his fellow Colts will play for their January lives this weekend, when the AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars visit Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

An Indianapolis win gives it a split of the season series and forges a flat- footed tie atop the division, though the Jaguars would still hold a tie-breaker edge at the moment because of a slightly-better conference record with two regular-season games remaining. Jacksonville is 7-3 in AFC play at the moment, while the Colts own a 5-4 mark.

A Jacksonville win, however, ends the division race and all but KO's Manning and his team's chances at returning to the Super Bowl tournament for the 11th time in 13 seasons.

The Colts finish the schedule at Oakland and home with Tennessee, while Jacksonville visits Washington and hosts Houston. If Indianapolis beats the Jaguars on Sunday and wins out, it wins the division.

"It's kind of like when you were a youngster going out to the basketball court, with chain nets," Colts coach Jim Caldwell said of his club's situation. "There was a great game called 'make it, take it.' Whoever won stayed on the court. That's where we are. It is an atmosphere where wins are extremely important."

The Jaguars, who won the series opener between the teams by a 31-28 count in Week 4, remained in the lead with a 38-31 defeat of the Oakland Raiders last weekend.

Jacksonville has won five of six games since a 22-point loss at Kansas City dropped the team to 3-4 on Oct. 24.

"You have to play your best football down the stretch and here we are in the middle of the stretch playing our best football," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, whose team lost its final four games last season after a 7-5 start. "We stay about our business, hang together. We don't fray at the edges.

"Guys don't start looking for reasons why it's not going well. I think that allows you to weather some of the storms that you're going to face."

SERIES HISTORY

The Colts have prevailed in 14 of 19 all-time matchups with Jacksonville and had won three straight in the series prior to the above-mentioned last-second victory by the Jaguars in Week 4. Jacksonville has beaten the Colts only twice in nine lifetime games in Indianapolis, with its most recent triumph a 23-21 upset in 2008, and has never swept a home-and-home set from the Colts since the clubs became divisional foes in 2002.

The last six contests in this series have all been decided by seven points or less, with five of those tilts having a margin of victory of four points or fewer.

Del Rio is 5-10 against the Colts during his career as a head coach, while Caldwell is 2-1 against both Del Rio and the Jaguars since taking over for Tony Dungy in 2009.

WHEN THE COLTS HAVE THE BALL

The strengths are in predictable places for the Colts, who lead the league in passing yardage (304.0 ypg), are second in scoring (26.7 ppg) and fifth in total yardage (383.7 ypg). Things have not gone so well on the ground for Indianapolis, which brings up the rear of the league's 32 teams at 79.7 yards per game. Jacksonville hasn't wowed many with its stinginess, allowing a 25th- best 25.5 points per week while placing 26th in total yardage allowed (371.2 ypg) and 28th in passing yardage allowed (258.3 ypg). The Jaguars are slightly less porous when stopping the run, placing 18th in the league with a 112.8 yards-per-game clip.

Manning is 13-5 lifetime against the Jaguars and has completed 405-of-629 attempts for 5,014 yards with 36 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 99.4 passer rating in those games. He has 63 career 300-yard passing games, which is tied with Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the most in NFL history. Rookie running back Javarris James, an undrafted free agent, leads all rookies with six rushing touchdowns. On the outside, with 1,213 receiving yards, wideout Reggie Wayne now has five seasons with 1,200 receiving yards -- the second-most in club history behind Marvin Harrison's six. And, with six catches and two touchdowns in last week's 30-28 win at Tennessee, receiver Pierre Garcon now has a career- high 52 catches. He also has four touchdowns in 2010, equaling his career-best from last season.

For the Jaguars, linebackers Daryl Smith and Kirk Morrison are tied for the team lead with 66 tackles apiece. Morrison has 54 solo stops, while Smith has contributed 48 on his own.

WHEN THE JAGUARS HAVE THE BALL

Pounding the rock has been the ticket to success for the Jaguars, who've churned out an average of 157.8 yards per week on the ground, second-best in the league. Elsewhere, Jacksonville is 12th in scoring offense (22.7 ppg), 15th in total yardage (342.0 ypg) and 29th in passing yardage (184.2 ypg). It's been a trying year by the numbers for the Colts defense, who are 23rd in the league in scoring defense (24.5 ppg), 20th in total yardage allowed (344.5 ypg) and 29th in run defense (141.1 ypg). They've been successful by default at defending the pass, where foes have only thrown enough to generate 203.4 yards per game, making Indy the eighth-best in the league in that category.

In his last two games against the Colts, Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has five touchdowns, one interception and a 101.9 rating. In four games against the AFC South in 2010, he is 3-1 and has completed 62-of-84 passes for 680 yards, four touchdowns and a 108.2 rating. Garrard is second in the NFL with 118.9 fourth-quarter rating, behind only Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger's 121.1. After throwing for three touchdowns against Oakland last week, Garrard now has 20 scoring passes in 2010, tying Mark Brunell's single-season franchise record from 1998 and 2000. The Jaguars have rushed for 200 or more yards as a team in three straight games, and mighty mite Maurice Jones-Drew aims for a seventh consecutive game with at least 100. He also seeks a third straight game with 100 yards against the Colts and has five games of surpassing the century mark in his career against Indianapolis. Jones-Drew's 883 career rushing yards against the Colts are his most against any opponent. Another back, Rashad Jennings, rushed for 109 yards on five carries against Oakland, becoming the sixth player in 50 years to average 20-plus yards per rush in a game with a minimum of five attempts. He seeks a fourth straight game with a rushing touchdown. Elsewhere, tight end Marcedes Lewis needs one touchdown catch to become the second player in club history with 10 scoring receptions in a season.

For the Colts, end Dwight Freeney leads all active NFL players with 41 career forced fumbles, including one last week. Another end, Robert Mathis, needs 1 1/2 sacks to post 10 or more in a season for the fourth time in his career.

FANTASY FOCUS

Jacksonville's Jones-Drew against an iffy Colts' run defense is the fantasy definition of a no-brainer, while tight end Lewis has earned consideration as well. Also worthy of a thought is Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee, who figures to be busy. Manning remains a similar must-play for the Colts regardless of matchup, and his presence creates value for both Wayne and Garcon. Also important is kicker Adam Vinatieri.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Given their recent history of dominance in the AFC South, it's odd to see the Colts fighting for postseason life in Week 15. That said, they've shown that they know the way to the playoffs and should be considered a favorite until officially knocked from the perch. With Manning still on the roster, Indianapolis is the logical choice.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colts 24, Jaguars 20

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