JACKSONVILLE--Give Peyton Manning and the offense credit for the comeback.
Give the defense credit for the playoffs.
Colts to a 31-24 win over the Jaguars, clinching a spot in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
"Our defense came up with some big plays down the stretch when we needed them," said Colts head coach Tony Dungy.
The biggest of all came from Ratliff, who stepped in front of a David Garrard pass and then weaved his way through the defense for the 35 yard score to break the 24-24 tie.
Following the play the Jaguars moved down the field and into Colts territory, but the drive was ended when Raheem Brock sacked Garrard for a 16 yard loss. Dwight Freeney did the same on the game's final drive, pulling down Garrard for the sack to end the game with the Jaguars on the Colts seven yard line.
Such heroics wouldn't have been possible, however, without a steady comeback by the offense over 55 minutes.
Trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, Peyton Manning helped bring the Colts all the way back, throwing for 364 yards and three touchdowns. He also helped to lead the team down the field to tie the game with just over six minutes left, when Adam Vinatieri notted the game at 24 with a 45 yard field goal.
"Peyton Manning was unbelievable," said Dungy of his quarterback. "He put it on his shoulders and kept us in there."
Pickoff to playoffs!
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