INDIANAPOLIS – The instability of their playoff future might actually be a good thing for a Colts fan base that has been divided when nothing is on the line.
Unlike 2008, 2009, or 2012, the Colts would have a higher playoff seed on the line when the took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the final time in the regular season Sunday afternoon.
A win over the Jaguars left hope for as high as a second seed with a loss locking them into fourth and a quick rematch with the Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card round at home.
At the very least the Colts did their part on a dominant Sunday afternoon at home. Chuck Pagano’s team raced out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back in a 30-10 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium which improved the team to 11-5-the second consecutive season the team has finished with that record.
The team now waits to see the results of the Bengals-Ravens and the Patriots-Bills games. A loss by either New England or Cincinnati and the Colts are the third seed in the AFC Playoffs. If both lose, the Colts get the bye and will host a divisional playoff game in two weeks.
Should both the Bengals and the Patriots win, the Colts will be the fourth seed.
Unlike most of their 2013 season the Colts started out very quickly in their regular season finale. Jerrell Freeman forced a fumble on the Jaguars’ opening drive and the Colts offense finished it off with a one-yard touchdown dive over the pile by Donald Brown.
Trent Richardson ran in another score later in the first, sweeping to his left on fourth-and-goal from the two to put the Colts up 14-0.
A 74-yard Colts drive late in the quarter fell short of the endzone but Adam Vinatieri completed the march with points when he converted a 23-yard field goal to make it 17-0.
Jacksonville showed signs of life in the second quarter as they slowed down the Colts offense and got on the board with a Josh Scobee 37-yard field goal to cut the Indianapolis’ lead to 14.
Chad Henne had the Jaguars on the move again but he made a mistake with under two-minutes to go in the half. At the Colts’ 31, Henne’s pass was intercepted by Antoine Bethea, who returned it 46 yards to the Jacksonville 31-yard line.
Vinatieri made them pay when he hit a 26-yard field goal to give the Colts a 17-points lead and while also making himself one of seven players in NFL history to score 2,000 or more points.
Any hopes of a Jaguars comeback were squashed by Luck and the offense on the opening drive of the second half. The team drove 80-yard in seven plays and got their third touchdown of the day when Luck found Griff Whalen for a seven-yard score to make it 27-3.
Vinatieri would hit another fourth quarter field goal to push the lead to 27 and the Colts defense held up in their second dominating win over the season against their division rivals