N.F.L. ROUNDUP; Colts Rally for Win and Gain Playoff Spot as a Bonus

The Indianapolis Colts have perfected the art of the comeback in their undefeated march through the season.

Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes Sunday and the Colts rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit for a 35-27 win at Houston, their 20th straight regular-season victory and their fifth straight come-from-behind win.

Indianapolis (11-0) clinched the American Football Conference South title when Jacksonville lost to San Francisco later Sunday.

”We don’t get overexcited certainly when things aren’t going the way we want them to,” Manning said. ”We don’t panic, we don’t yell, we don’t throw helmets. We just try to put the series behind us and move on to the next one.”

The Colts need one victory to tie the New England Patriots’ record 21-game run from 2006 to 2008. They play Tennessee at home next week.

Manning threw two first-half interceptions but had two second-half touchdown passes, including a 4-yarder to Dallas Clark that gave the Colts a 21-20 lead with about nine minutes left.

Clint Session stretched the lead to 28-20 seconds later when he returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown. Houston (5-6) fell to 1-15 over all against Indianapolis.

”That’s a good team over there,” Session said of the Texans, ”but we’re the Colts.”

Matt Schaub fumbled on Houston’s next possession and Chad Simpson’s touchdown run put the game out of reach.

”If you doubt, you’re done,” Colts receiver Reggie Wayne said. ”It’s just like showing a bad poker face. If they see that, you’re in trouble.”

The Bengals (8-3) beat the visiting Browns, 16-7, to complete an unbeaten run through the A.F.C. North. Determined to run against Cleveland (1-10), Cincinnati gave the ball 22 times to Larry Johnson, who joined the team two weeks ago and acknowledged he was still learning the playbook. He finished with 107 yards. ”I’m just glad they trust me to go in there, especially with the division and the playoffs on the line,” Johnson said. Cedric Benson missed his second straight game with a sprained hip.

Better Late Than Never

Vince Young hit a leaping Kenny Britt for a 10-yard touchdown as time expired, and the host Titans rallied to beat the Cardinals, 20-17. ”Once you see Vince scramble around, you never know if he’s going to run it or throw it,” Britt said. ”You just have to stay alive.” The Titans (5-6) have not lost since Young replaced Kerry Collins as the starter, and they are the first team to win five in a row after starting 0-6. Young drove the Titans 99 yards in the final 2 minutes 37 seconds. He converted three fourth downs on the drive, two with passes to Britt, and threw for a career-high 387 yards. Arizona is 7-4.

A fiery pep talk from Donovan McNabb and a 32-yard field goal by David Akers rallied the Eagles to a 27-24 home victory over the Redskins. A week after leading the Eagles (7-4) to their first fourth-quarter comeback since 2007, McNabb challenged his teammates to repeat the performance when they fell behind, 24-16, against the Redskins (3-8). ”He was into it,” Coach Andy Reid said. ”He said, ‘Hey, we’re scoring.’ ” McNabb drove the offense 90 yards for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion with 7:27 left and, after forcing a punt, moved the Eagles 66 yards to set up the winning kick.

A long field goal by Rian Lindell and a long touchdown by Terrell Owens propelled the Bills to a 31-14 victory over the visiting Dolphins. Lindell’s career-best 56-yard field goal with 3:35 left put the Bills (4-7) ahead for the first time, at 17-14. Only 72 seconds later, Ryan Fitzpatrick teamed up with Owens on a 51-yard scoring play. Ricky Williams had 115 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Dolphins (5-6), but Chad Henne threw interceptions on their final three possessions.

Chris Redman threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White on fourth down with 23 seconds remaining, and the Falcons may have saved their season with a 20-17 victory over the visiting Buccaneers (1-10). Will it last? That depends on how long quarterback Matt Ryan (toe), running back Michael Turner (ankle) and the starting offensive linemen Harvey Dahl and Sam Baker are out. All left the game with injuries. The Falcons are 6-5.

Vikings and Chargers Roll

Injured Garrard Out as Jaguars Face Texans

Garrard will have surgery on the middle finger of his right hand Thursday. Trent Edwards is likely to start in Garrard’s place, essentially giving him an audition with Jacksonville.

Garrard injured his finger when he hit it on an opposing player’s helmet at Indianapolis on Dec. 19. He threw a crucial interception late in that game, and threw two more interceptions in a 20-17 overtime loss to Washington on Sunday. He also fumbled twice.

Garrard would probably miss a first-round game if the Jaguars (8-7) made the postseason. Jacksonville needs to beat Houston and have Tennessee upset Indianapolis to win the A.F.C. South.

Making that even more improbable, the Jaguars will most likely be without their star running back, Maurice Jones-Drew. He missed his fourth consecutive practice Wednesday because of an injured right knee that will probably require off-season surgery.

The Jaguars claimed Edwards off waivers in late September, after he was benched and later released by the . Edwards has played in one game with Jacksonville, completing 14 of 24 passes for 140 yards, with two interceptions.

BEARS A ‘FULL GO’ Quarterback Jay Cutler expects to play the entire game and does not expect key players to sit out when the visit on Sunday. He says the Bears (11-4) will be a “full go” against the Packers, even though they have a first-round playoff bye. The Bears have a remote shot at the No. 1 seed in the N.F.C., although they would need a win and plenty of help to get it.

QUARTERBACK? Seattle Coach Pete Carroll says the Seahawks are moving ahead with plans to start quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in the N.F.C. West title matchup against St. Louis. Carroll said that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was trying to return from a strained hip, but that it would be “against the odds.” It would be Whitehurst’s second career start.

VICK MAY SIT OUT Coach Andy Reid says he has not decided if ’s leg bruise will keep him out of Sunday’s regular-season finale against the .

Vick sustained a quad contusion on the first play of the Eagles’ 24-14 loss to the on Tuesday night. The Eagles do not need Vick to play Sunday. They are locked into the N.F.C.’s No. 3 seed and will host the No. 6 seed on Jan. 8 or 9.

WILLIS TO MISS START The 49ers Pro Bowl inside linebacker Patrick Willis had a second surgical procedure this week on his broken right hand. He will miss a start for the first time in his four-year career in Sunday’s season finale against Arizona.

FINE CENTER Detroit center Dominic Raiola says the team has fined him $15,000 for his actions after the Lions beat the . Raiola was filmed responding to a fan in Miami with obscene words and a hand gesture as he walked off the field after the Lions’ 34-27 victory Sunday.