Colts beat Jaguars, are in control of their playoff destiny

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 28: Peyton Manning  of the Indianapolis Colts watches his teammates before the NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Here are six quick-hit observations of the Colts’ huge 34-24 win over the Jaguars on Sunday.

1. Colts are now in the driver’s seat.
Congratulations Jaguars, you just put Peyton Manning in control of the Colts’ playoff destiny. With their win on Sunday, Indy needs to win its final two games and the Colts will win thier 97th straight (numbers exact) AFC South crown. Not that beating Manning on his home turf was going to be easy, but the Jags had a golden opportunity to put the Colts away for good and couldn’t do it. Now it’s a footrace from here on out, as the Colts travel to Oakland in Week 16 and Jacksonville hosts the Redskins.

2. Seriously, Josh Scobee?
When I think of horrendous onsides kick attempts, I think of Josh Scobee’s feeble try late in the fourth quarter. After the Jaguars had stolen a lot of the momentum back with a touchdown to get within three at 27-24, Scobee dribbled a kick about five yards in front of himself and Tyjuan Hagler returned the gift 41 yards for a touchdown. Recovering an onsides kick is tough enough. It’s even tougher when your kicker rolls one right to a defender so he can return it for an easy touchdown.

3. Why is Sean Considine still in the league?
How Sean Considine still has a job after proving he couldn’t start all those years up in Philadelphia is beyond me. The Colts knew the Jaguars’ weakness was the play of their safeties and Manning attacked them early and often. Considine, specifically, had issues with both the run and the pass. The Colts, who usually struggle running the football, rushed for 155 yards against a Jacksonville run defense that had been stout. Donald Brown had a breakout performance, rushing for 129 yards on 14 carries and one score. Of course, he was aided by the fact that Considine’s head didn’t stop spinning from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.

4. David Garrard continues to be inconsistent.
Garrard made a couple of nice throws on Sunday but too many of his passes sailed high. Marcedes Lewis made a great play to pull down one of those high passes for a touchdown in the third quarter but Garrard airmailed a pass over Jason Hill that was intercepted by Antonie Bethea in the second half. The interception proved costly because it not only stopped a potential scoring drive (the Jags were around midfield), but the Colts also turned the gift into three points. Good teams need their quarterback to step up in games like this and while Garrard did throw for 294 yards and two touchdowns, he needed to be better in the second half if the Jags were going to pull off a win. He wasn’t and they didn’t.

5. It’s too bad about Austin Collie.
Austin Collie is a gifted receiver and if he could only stay healthy, he could turn into one heck of a player in this league. He caught eight passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns, but Daryl Smith’s arm banged into his helmet in the first half and Collie had to leave the game with a concussion. It’s his second of the season and after he had just gotten back from his first, this has to be frustrating for the young receiver.

6. Will the Colts slip up?
The Colts play the Raiders and Titans to finish the season so while it’s not a foregone conclusion that they’ll win the AFC South, things are in their favor. That said, traveling cross-country is never easy and the Titans gave them a game in the second half a week ago in Tennessee. You know the Titans would love to play the role of spoiler, so the Colts’ work is far from over. That said, they’re in complete control of their destiny and two more wins will get them to the postseason, which seemed unlikely just two weeks ago.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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