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Colts Topple Texans, 30-17, Take Sole Possession Of First Place

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning threw a pair of touchdown passes and Adam Vinatieri made three field goals, as the Indianapolis Colts continued their home dominance over the Houston Texans with a 30-17 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Manning completed 26-of-45 passes for 268 yards for the Colts (5-2), who have won three straight games since a loss to the Jaguars on October 3. The Colts are also 9-0 in Indianapolis against the Texans, who trail the all-time series by a 16-2 margin.

With Joseph Addai (shoulder) inactive and Donald Brown suffering from a hamstring injury, Mike Hart made his first career NFL start. He carried the ball 12 times for 84 yards before suffering a left ankle injury midway through the fourth quarter.

Manning was still effective despite being without wide receiver Austin Collie and All-Pro tight end Dallas Clark. The latter is done for the season with a wrist injury sustained in Indianapolis' 27-24 win at Washington on October 17. Collie underwent surgery on his right thumb less than two weeks ago.

Tight end Jacob Tamme caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown. Reggie Wayne hauled in four passes for 39 yards and a score for the Colts, who lost 34-24 to Houston in the season-opener.

Matt Schaub connected on 22-of-38 passes for 201 yards, a touchdown and an interception for the Texans (4-3), who were coming off a bye week -- as were the Colts.

Arian Foster, who rushed for a club-record 231 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting between these teams this year, was limited to 102 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Andre Johnson hauled in seven passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, while Foster caught nine passes for 65 yards in defeat.

Trailing 27-10, Houston stayed alive with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Foster got the 10-play drive going with a 10-yard catch and ended it with a six-yard touchdown run for a 27-17 contest with 12:22 to go.

The Colts responded with a 36-yard Vinatieri field goal, but lost Hart to a left ankle injury on the 10-play drive.

Following a series of punts, the Texans drove the ball to the 14 of the Colts. But Indianapolis sealed the victory when they sacked Schaub and forced a fumble.

The Colts scored a touchdown on their second possession of the game. Hart got the seven-play drive started with a 35-yard run. Tamme's 26-yard reception set up Indianapolis at the seven-yard line of the Texans. Manning and the Colts were then faced with a 3rd-and-goal, but Tamme caught a pass in the back of the end zone to give the home team a 7-0 lead.

Houston got into Indianapolis territory on its next possession, but the drive came to a halt when Schaub failed to hook up with Kevin Walter on fourth down.

The Colts were unable to capitalize with a short field. Indianapolis' defense came up huge, though, as Kelvin Hayden picked off a Schaub pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown with 14:44 left until halftime.

On the ensuing Texans possession, Foster got the visitors in field-goal range with a 33-yard run. Houston had to settle for 53-yard Neil Rackers field goal. The ball hit off the left upright and snuck through for a 14-3 game with 12 minutes remaining.

The Colts put together a 13-play drive prior to the half. However, it resulted in just 36 yards and a 48-yarder from Vinatieri for a 17-3 lead.

Both teams scored a touchdown to start the second half. Wayne capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive with a 15-yard score, while Johnson ended a seven-play march with a 28-yard TD for Houston.

Indianapolis marched right down the field on its second possession of the third quarter. Pierre Garcon caught a six-yard pass on third down for a fresh set of downs at the two-yard line. The Texans' defense held strong, though, forcing a 23-yarder from Vinatieri for a 27-10 game with 1:18 left.

Game Notes

Texans left tackle Duane Brown returned to the lineup following a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on banned substances...Garcon caught seven passes for 78 yards...The Colts had 366 yards of total offense, compared to 291 for Houston...Tamme's TD was the first of his career.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.