Indianapolis 19, Houston 3

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Marvin Harrison caught nine passes Sunday and Indianapolis sacked David Carr six times in a methodical 19-3 victory over the Houston Texans, keeping the Colts alone in first place in the AFC South.

Indianapolis (8-4) has put together four straight wins in the same season for the first time since an 11-game run in 1999. In that year, the Colts went 13-3 en route to winning the AFC East.


"We did a lot of things out here today and that is where we are going to try and build off of going into December," Colts Coach Tony Dungy said. "Finishing our third group of games and being 4-0 is big.

"That was a goal of ours. Coming back at home after a big win last week is big."


The Colts won a dramatic 23-20 contest in Denver last week when Mike Vanderjagt kicked a career-long 54-yard field goal with three seconds left in regulation before connecting from 51 yards in overtime.

Sunday's contest at the RCA Dome, by contrast, was never in doubt and Vanderjagt helped make it that way by kicking field goals of 31 yards in the first quarter and 46 yards in the second.

Harrison had 101 receiving yards and tied Raymond Berry for the Colts' all-time lead with 631 receptions.

"We still have a lot of improvement to do before we start talking," Harrison said. "This team is not made for talking. We just want to take one week at a time."

Peyton Manning was 15 of 28 for 190 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcus Pollard. Manning has 21 touchdown passes this season, his fifth straight year with 20 or more.

A pair of fumbles by Houston led to the first two scores. Jonathan Wells fumbled deep in his own territory and Vanderjadt soon followed with his first field goal.

Frank Murphy fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Jason Doering recovered, leading to a 16-yard touchdown to Pollard.


Early in the second quarter, Manning completed a 26-yard pass to Qadry Ismail, setting up Vanderjagt's second field goal that made it 13-0 at halftime. The expansion Texans (3-9), who surprised the New York Giants last week, were trying to win back-to-back games for the first time.

"There are a lot of things we can learn from this football game," Texans Coach Dom Capers said. "One thing we do know in the NFL is you have to go out and out-execute your opponent and we didn't do that today.

"We were playing a first-place team with a three-game win streak. You can't afford to go out and spot them 10 points blank and get back into the football game."

It was another long day for Carr, who was 20 of 35 for 137 yards. He has been sacked 64 times this season.

"It's very frustrating. It is just competitiveness," Carr said. "We just have to play better than that. We just have to play tough."

Defensive end Brad Scioli had three of the sacks after collecting two in a 23-3 win over the Texans in September.

"The key was getting them to pass," Scioli said. "Earlier in the game, with the score a little closer, they didn't have time to drop back and go downfield as much. The were able to do some screens and draws to keep us off balance. Once we got that go-ahead score and time was running out, we knew they had to open it up. That was our chance to pin our ears back and go."


James Mungro increased the lead to 19-0 with a one-yard touchdown run with 8:11 remaining. Reggie Wayne caught a 35-yard pass from Manning on the previous play.

"We're on a roll right now," Colts linebacker Mike Peterson said. "We just need to keep it going."

Kris Brown prevented a shutout with a 34-yard field goal with 3:51 left.

Edgerrin James led the Colts in rushing with 65 yards on 20 carries.

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