FG at 0:00 finishes off Colts

Winning kick goes 48 yards

Texans' Dayne rushes for 153 yards, 2 TDs

Texans 27 Colts 24


December 25, 2006

HOUSTON -- It doesn't take a Heisman Trophy winner to run through the Indianapolis Colts' defense. But yesterday it certainly made it easier.

Ron Dayne, who won the award in 1999, had a career-high 153 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Kris Brown kicked the winning 48-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Houston Texans their first win over Indianapolis, 27-24.

The loss denied the AFC South champion Colts the chance to clinch a first-round playoff bye.

"Bottom line, I don't care who you play, when you play or where you play, we've got to play better than we played today," Colts defensive tackle Anthony McFarland said.

Houston led through most of the game until Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison connected for their second touchdown, a 7-yard pass that tied it at 24 with 2:41 remaining.

David Carr and the Texans then engineered a six-play, 31-yard drive that ended with Brown's winning kick. The much-maligned Houston quarterback was 16 of 23 for 163 yards and a touchdown and was not sacked.

"It was really disappointing for us not to come through with a win down here," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "But that's the way everything's been this year."

It was the first time Dayne, released by both the New York Giants and Denver Broncos before landing in Houston, gained 100 yards since September 2001 with New York.

"The Texans believed in me and they gave me the opportunity, and I knew I could run the ball," he said. "I'm just trying to take advantage of it each week. When I get the ball, I'm going to try to show Coach that I want to be here and I want to help this team win."

The Texans (5-10) used Dayne and rookie Chris Taylor to eat up the clock and exploit the Colts' run defense, ranked last in the NFL, while taking pressure off Carr and the struggling passing game. The win broke a nine-game losing streak to the Colts (11-4).

The performance capped a span of four straight solid games in which Dayne had 429 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

Dayne was injured on the first play of the second quarter when linebacker Gary Brackett hit him helmet-first on his right ankle. He sat out the rest of the series to get his ankle taped, something he said he had never done in a game, and returned to carry the ball 20 more times.

"It was real sore," Dayne said. "I just kept going out there and every time I'd run and somebody might fall on it, I would come out. Then I would just go back out there even without them telling me to. I just wasn't going to be denied today."

The loss ruined another record day for Manning, who set an NFL mark by reaching 4,000 yards passing for the seventh time in his nine-year career. Manning was 21 of 27 for 205 yards and had three touchdown passes.

"This is a critical time for us," Manning said. "This is the time when people on the outside will start pointing fingers. As a team, we need to stay together and guys just need to do their jobs a little bit better across the board and all three phases of the game."

He entered the game needing 90 yards to reach the mark and got it when he found Harrison on an 8-yard pass in the second quarter. His second touchdown pass of the day, a 9-yarder to Aaron Moorehead, came four plays later and tied it at 14.

Dayne scored on runs of 3 and 6 yards on Houston's first two drives, and fullback Vonta Leach added a touchdown just before halftime. The Texans added a 42-yard field goal by Brown to stretch their lead to 24-17 in the fourth quarter.

Indianapolis 7 7 3 7-24

Houston 14 7 0 6-27

First quarter Hou-Dayne 3 run (K.Brown kick), 10:23. Hou-Dayne 6 run (K.Brown kick), 5:46. Ind-Harrison 37 pass from Manning (Vinatieri kick), :58.

Second quarter Ind-Moorehead 9 pass from Manning (Vinatieri kick), 8:16. Hou-Leach 3 pass from Carr (K.Brown kick), :16.

Third quarter Ind-FG Vinatieri 33, 1:23.

Fourth quarter Hou-FG K.Brown 42, 6:54. Ind-Harrison 7 pass from Manning (Vinatieri kick), 2:41. Hou-FG K.Brown 48, :00. A-70,132.

Ind Hou

First downs 19 22

Total net yards 319 354

Rushes-yards 18-114 42-191

Passing 205 163

Punt returns 0-0 1-4

Kickoff returns 4-104 5-147

Interceptions ret. 0-0 0-0

Comp-Att-Int 21-27-0 16-23-0

Sacked-Yards lost 0-0 0-0

Punts 1-55.0 2-40.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0

Penalties-Yards 2-15 4-25

Time of possession 24:01 35:59 Rushing-Indianapolis, Addai 15-100, Rhodes 2-15, Manning 1-(minus 1). Houston, Dayne 32-153, Taylor 8-24, Carr 2-14. Passing-Indianapolis, Manning 21-27-0-205. Houston, Carr 16-23-0-163. Receiving-Indianapolis, Harrison 8-112, Addai 4-8, Wayne 3-27, Fletcher 2-29, Utecht 2-14, Moorehead 1-9, Rhodes 1-6. Houston, A.Johnson 4-48, Leach 3-18, Taylor 2-28, Bruener 2-26, Walter 2-21, Putzier 2-19, Dayne 1-3. Missed field goals-None.

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