Texans clinch AFC South title

  • Last Updated: December 16 2012, 22:17 GMT

Houston Texans clinched the AFC South title for the second successive year as they beat Indianapolis Colts 29-17.

Andre Johnson: Gained 151 yards and scored a Texans touchdown
Andre Johnson: Gained 151 yards and scored a Texans touchdown

Andre Johnson gained 151 yards receiving and a touchdown, Bryan Braman scored a special teams score on a blocked punt and Shayne Graham kicked five field goals.

The Colts (9-5) had won three straight games and needed a win to clinch a play-off berth a year after going 2-14 in 2011.

Thanks in great part to three sacks from J.J. Watt, Houston bounced back six days after an embarrassing 42-14 loss to New England on national television. The Texans will have home-field advantage throughout the AFC play-offs if they win out.

Andrew Luck threw for 186 yards with two touchdowns in the return to his hometown. He had led the Colts to a rookie-record six wins on drives in the fourth quarter or overtime this season, and he got the Colts within six points late in the third quarter.

But Houston's defense shut him down after that, and the Texans used Arian Foster to eat up the clock. Foster ran for a season-high 165 yards to leave him with 1,313 yards rushing, giving him his third straight year with at least 1,200.

Braman blocked his second punt of the season, recovered it and returned it 8 yards for his first career touchdown to make it 20-3 just before half-time.

Vick Ballard had 60 yards rushing on a Colts drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown reception by Dwayne Allen to cut Houston's lead to 23-17 in the third quarter. Ballard finished with a career-high 105 yards rushing.

Houston couldn't do anything on its next drive and punted. But Indy sputtered, and interim coach Bruce Arians even drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a punt, giving Houston the ball at the Colts 39.

Graham added a 46-yard field goal to push the lead to 26-17 and made his fifth field goal with about a minute left.

Rookie T.Y. Hilton and Luck connected on a 61-yard touchdown pass just before half-time.


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