INDIANAPOLIS - Finish the regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Behind the record-setting performances of Adam Vinatieri, Robert Mathis, Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis did exactly that in a 30-10 statement win over AFC South rival Jacksonville.
In doing so, the Colts now head into the wild-card round of the playoffs with an 11-5 overall record and a perfect 6-0 division mark. It’s the second straight year that Indianapolis has posted an 11-5 record and earned a wild-card post-season appearance.
The Colts went undefeated in the AFC South for the first time since the 2009 season, which was also the last time that the franchise earned a trip to the Super Bowl.
With the win, Indianapolis went 4-1 for the month of December and ended the regular season with three straight victories. Now it looks to be a home-field rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs either Saturday or Sunday. The Colts posted a 23-7 win at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 22.
“Proud of the guys for coming out and putting the time in and preparing for [Sunday’s] football game. To win 11 games and sweep the division. They always talk about December being the second most important month in football. We talked about that early on. This team went out went went 4-1 in December,” head coach Chuck Pagano said afterward.
“We faced a lot of adversity, a lot of injuries, all that stuff. We never used it as an excuse. It’s next man up. There’s a lot of guys that got a lot of playing time. Very, very proud of the coaches and the players for the job that they’ve done. Now we’re headed into the post-season.”
Indianapolis scored early and often against the Jaguars, leading 20-3 at halftime. Touchdown runs by Donald Brown (1-yard) and Trent Richardson (2-yards), along with a pair of Vinatieri field goals from 23 and 26 yards, accounted for the Colts’ first-half scoring.