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Colts make sure Houston's luck continues to turn sour

Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew Luck tossed a pair of touchdown passes and the Indianapolis Colts cruised to a 25-3 triumph over the reeling Houston Texans on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Luck completed 19-of-32 passes for 180 yards with an interception, while Trent Richardson racked up 102 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown for the AFC South champion Colts (9-5), who bounced back from an ugly 42-28 loss last week at Cincinnati.

"I don't think we're that fickle where we have to lose confidence like that after a bad game," Luck said of coming off last week's setback. "Hopefully we can get a little mojo going through these next two games. This was a good start against a good division team."

The turmoil with the Texans, who have lost a franchise-worst 12 straight games, reached a tipping point during the week leading up to Sunday's game, as head coach Gary Kubiak was fired after eight seasons and a pair of division crowns. Wade Phillips, who also handled matters following Kubiak's medical scare on Nov. 3, took over on an interim basis.

Despite the change in leadership, the play on the field remained the same for Houston (2-12), which saw quarterback Case Keenum complete just 18-of-34 passes for 168 yards with a pair of interceptions.

"I was bad today," Keenum admitted. "My teammates deserve better and my coaches deserve better."

The Colts' opening drive set the tone for the entire tilt, as Luck led his squad on an 11-play, 80-yard sequence that featured a trio of third-down conversions.

Griff Whalen capped the trek with his first NFL touchdown, hauling in a 14- yard strike from Luck to make it 7-0 just under 5 1/2 minutes into the game.

Randy Bullock buried a 49-yard field goal late in the first to get Houston on the board, but Darius Butler picked off Keenum two plays in the Texans' next touch and returned it 13 yards to the Houston 17.

Indianapolis failed to pick up a first down and settled for a 37-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri, but after another Houston punt, Luck threw his second TD pass of the half to increase the Colts' cushion.

T.Y. Hilton highlighted the drive with a 41-yard reception and Richardson capped it by hauling in a short pass and rumbling nine yards into the end zone to make it 17-3 with just over seven minutes left in the half.

Butler picked off Keenum again to end the Texans' next series, setting up Vinatieri's 43-yard field goal that pushed the spread to 20-3 with 1:44 left in the half.

The Colts carried their 17-point lead into the break and forced a quick three- and-out from Houston to open the second half.

Whalen returned the Houston punt 51 yards to the Texans' 28, and Vinatieri connected on a 40-yard field goal to make it 23-3 just over 2 1/2 minutes into the third.

Indianapolis extended the lead late in the stanza when Robert Mathis blindsided Keenum in the end zone and knocked the ball free. Offensive lineman Duane Brown pounced on the fumble, resulting in a safety that pushed the difference to 25-3 with under two minutes left in the third.

Mathis recorded his 108th career sack on the play, surpassing Dwight Freeney for first place on the franchise's all-time list. His 16 1/2 sacks this season also broke Freeney's single-season franchise record set in 2004.

Houston failed to get closer than the Indianapolis 41 over the final 15 minutes, allowing the Colts to close out the victory.

Game Notes

The Colts improved to 12-0 all-time against Houston at home ... Luck's interception was his first in his last 86 pass attempts ... Luck has 21 TD passes this season, becoming the fifth QB in NFL history with at least 20 TD passes in each of first two seasons (23 last year) ... Kubiak was 61-64 over eight seasons as Houston's head coach ... Hilton caught a game-high eight passes for 78 yards ... Houston was whistled for 14 penalties, totaling 114 yards.

12/15 18:32:23 ET

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Standings

 2013 American Football Conference Standings 
East Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-New England 12 4 0 .750 444 338 8-0 4-4 4-2 9-3
NY Jets 8 8 0 .500 290 387 6-2 2-6 3-3 5-7
Miami 8 8 0 .500 317 335 4-4 4-4 2-4 7-5
Buffalo 6 10 0 .375 339 388 4-4 2-6 3-3 5-7
 
North Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Cincinnati 11 5 0 .688 430 305 8-0 3-5 3-3 8-4
Pittsburgh 8 8 0 .500 379 370 5-3 3-5 4-2 6-6
Baltimore 8 8 0 .500 320 352 6-2 2-6 3-3 6-6
Cleveland 4 12 0 .250 308 406 3-5 1-7 2-4 3-9
 
South Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Indianapolis 11 5 0 .688 391 336 6-2 5-3 6-0 9-3
Tennessee 7 9 0 .438 362 381 3-5 4-4 2-4 6-6
Jacksonville 4 12 0 .250 247 449 1-7 3-5 3-3 4-8
Houston 2 14 0 .125 276 428 1-7 1-7 1-5 2-10
 
West Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Denver 13 3 0 .813 606 399 7-1 6-2 5-1 9-3
x-Kansas City 11 5 0 .688 430 305 5-3 6-2 2-4 7-5
x-San Diego 9 7 0 .563 396 348 5-3 4-4 4-2 6-6
Oakland 4 12 0 .250 322 453 3-5 1-7 1-5 4-8
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
 2013 National Football Conference Standings 
East Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Philadelphia 10 6 0 .625 442 382 4-4 6-2 4-2 9-3
Dallas 8 8 0 .500 439 432 5-3 3-5 5-1 7-5
NY Giants 7 9 0 .438 294 383 4-4 3-5 3-3 6-6
Washington 3 13 0 .188 334 478 2-6 1-7 0-6 1-11
 
North Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Green Bay 8 7 1 .531 417 428 4-3-1 4-4 3-2-1 6-5-1
Chicago 8 8 0 .500 445 478 5-3 3-5 2-4 4-8
Detroit 7 9 0 .438 395 376 4-4 3-5 4-2 6-6
Minnesota 5 10 1 .344 391 480 5-3 0-7-1 2-3-1 4-7-1
 
South Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Carolina 12 4 0 .750 366 241 7-1 5-3 5-1 9-3
x-New Orleans 11 5 0 .688 414 304 8-0 3-5 5-1 9-3
Atlanta 4 12 0 .250 353 443 3-5 1-7 1-5 3-9
Tampa Bay 4 12 0 .250 288 389 3-5 1-7 1-5 2-10
 
West Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Seattle 13 3 0 .813 417 231 7-1 6-2 4-2 10-2
x-San Francisco 12 4 0 .750 406 272 6-2 6-2 5-1 9-3
Arizona 10 6 0 .625 379 324 6-2 4-4 2-4 6-6
St. Louis 7 9 0 .438 348 364 5-3 2-6 1-5 4-8
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 4
DUR 8
 
11:05am Today
CHR
DUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
Final
PIT 1
CIN 4
Final
CLE 2
KAN 8
Final
WAS 2
ANA 7
Final
TOR 9
BAL 3
Final
DET 8
CWS 6
Final
ATL 0
MIA 1
Final
TAM 7
MIN 3
Final
BOS 3
NYY 9
Final
NYM 0
STL 3
Final
CHC 9
ARI 2
Final
MIL 1
SDP 2
Final
COL 2
SFG 1
Final
OAK 4
TEX 5
Final
SEA 2
HOU 5
Final
LOS 2
PHI 3
12:10pm Today
ATL
MIA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
3:10pm Today
COL
SFG
 
3:35pm Today
OAK
TEX
 
3:40pm Today
SEA
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
MIN
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
IND 101
ATL 85
Final
TOR 100
BRK 95
Final
CHI 99
WAS 101
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
DAL
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
MON 4
TAM 3
Final
DET 0
BOS 3
Final
PHI 1
NYR 4
Final
LOS 3
SJS 4
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
Final
CHR 4
DUR 8
 
11:05am Today
CHR
DUR