Indianapolis focuses on AFC South title
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HOUSTON -- While seemingly everyone is buzzing about Indianapolis and its perfect 10-0 record, the Colts are actively avoiding the discussion.
"It's certainly something that we haven't talked about," quarterback Peyton Manning said. "We don't talk about it around here. All we talk about is the next opponent. All we talk about is just taking it one game at a time. That's really kind of been our philosophy."
• Matchup: Indianapolis Colts (10-0) at Houston Texans (5-5), Houston, Texas.
• When: 1 p.m.
• The skinny: With a win, the Colts would become only the second team to win at least 20 regular-season games in a row.
This week, they will put their franchise-record 19-game regular-season winning streak on the line against the Houston Texans, against whom they are 14-1. The Texans (5-5) have lost two games in a row and are looking for a win to stay in the playoff conversation.
Indianapolis could clinch the AFC South title today with a win and a loss by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Colts linebacker Gary Brackett said facing a team desperate for a win does not make the game easier.
"We feel we've got to win, too, because we want to put the division in our control, and the only way to do that is to go out and be aggressive and win," Brackett said.
The previous meeting between these teams was only three weeks ago. The Colts got the 20-17 win after Kris Brown missed a 42-yard field goal that would have forced overtime.
"They'll be fresh," Manning said. "They've had a bye week. We've had two tough, emotional games. Going down there to Houston is always a tough place to play. We've always had close games down there.."
The Texans do not believe there is an advantage to facing a team twice in less than a month.
"I wouldn't say it helps because it's still a new game," cornerback Dunta Robinson said. "We're looking at the film from when we played against them, but they're still going to come in and show us things that we haven't seen from them. So I think it will be like a new team coming in."
The past three games between these teams have been decided by six points or less, including a wild, 31-27 win by the Colts in the last meeting at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Indianapolis scored 21 points off two touchdown passes by Manning and a fumble return for a score by Brackett in the final 41/2 minutes.
First Published November 29, 2009 12:00 am