Powered by T.Y. Hilton's game-winning, one-yard touchdown catch with 32 seconds left, the Indianapolis Colts (9-4) fought off a feisty Cleveland defense to knock off the Browns (7-6) on Sunday 25-24. Our takeaways:
- Cleveland's defense held the Colts to 31 yards over their first six drives, triggering five punts and a strip-sack of Andrew Luck for a touchdown. The Browns badgered the Colts' quarterback all afternoon while forcing four turnovers and a pick six, but Luck rebounded to throw for 294 yards and a pair of scores to T.Y Hilton. The Colts wideout was otherworldly, piling up 10 catches for 150 yards off an outrageous 19 targets. While the Colts have emerged as an offensive powerhouse, the loss essentially ends Cleveland's playoff hopes barring a miracle over the final three weeks.
- Brian Hoyer offered up another ugly outing. The Browns quarterback overthrew wide-open targets deep and squelched a potential scoring drive with a first-quarter interception in the end zone. Running the ball 31 times for 111 yards, Cleveland essentially game-planned around their embattled passer. We might see Johnny Manziel next week.
- Josh Cribbs and Trent Richardsoncrowed about hopping into the Dawg Pound, but neither were a factor. Cleveland's coverage team smothered Cribbs and hammered him to the turf more than once. The stuck-in-quicksand Richardson managed just 30 yards on the ground -- seven fewer than Luck.
- Browns tight end Jordan Cameron suited up for the first time since Week 8 to catch four passes for 41 yards. We were more impressed with Colts tight end Coby Fleener, who continued his impressive season with 56 yards off five grabs.
- Don't be shocked if Billy Cundiff is cut loose this week. The Browns kicker drained life out of FirstEnergy Stadium with a missed attempt from 40 yards in the first half. He's completely unreliable at any range and will certainly be replaced this offseason, if not much sooner.
- Nobody's playing better for Cleveland than Joe Haden. The Pro Bowl cornerback forced a T.Y. Hilton fumble and played outstanding coverage all afternoon, save for getting burned on the wideout's 42-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. Haden has been among the best in the league of late, but it wasn't enough on Sunday.
The "Around The NFL Podcast" is available for download on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.