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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Colts Ride Kicker to Rout of Eagles

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cary Blanchard set a Colts season scoring record and came within one field goal of the NFL season record as Indianapolis routed the Philadelphia Eagles 37-10.


The loss by the Eagles (8-6) dropped them a half-game behind Dallas and Washington in the NFC East and clinched a playoff berth for NFC Central leader Green Bay. It also kept the Colts (8-6), who beat Buffalo in overtime Sunday, alive in the crowded race for an AFC wild card.


Blanchard, 34-for-38 for the season, made three field goals in the second quarter as the Colts scored on every possession thanks to three straight interceptions off Ty Detmer.


Marshall Faulk broke out of a season-long slump with 101 yards and two touchdowns, and journeyman Kerwin Bell, who was drafted by Miami in 1988, made his first NFL appearance in relief of injured Paul Justin. He threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Harrison.


Blanchard's first field goal, a 30-yarder, put the Colts ahead 10-3 early in the second quarter. On the following series, the ball popped out of Irving Fryar's hands on a tackle by Eugene Daniel and Jason Belser caught it in the air and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.


Minutes later, another Detmer pass was picked off by Trev Alberts, who returned it 19 yards and set up a 42-yard field goal by Blanchard for a 20-3 lead in the closing minutes of the period. On the following possession, Belser made an interception that set up a 51-yard field goal by Blanchard with three seconds left in the half.


Detmer was 17-for-34 for 182 yards and was relieved by Mark Rypien in the fourth quarter.


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The Carolina Panthers have a playoff spot at their fingertips. The Jacksonville Jaguars have to stretch a bit more for their shot.


Still, heading into the 14th game of the season, both 1995 American National Football League expansion teams have become contenders. If the Panthers (9-4) win at San Francisco on Sunday, they'll take the lead in the NFC West and, perhaps, clinch a playoff berth. No second-year team has done that.


The Jaguars are only 6-7, but a closing rush could allow them to sneak into the postseason in the AFC. Jacksonville has won three of its last four and is at Houston (7-6). After that, the Jaguars play home games with Seattle and Atlanta, so their chances to finish 9-7 are decent if they get past the Oilers.


The Panthers' veteran defense has been pivotal in their surge to elite status. They are at plus-8 in turnover differential and rank seventh in total defense.


"The later you get into the season, the margin of error becomes smaller and smaller and smaller,'' coach Dom Capers said. "And guys like Eric Davis, guys like Kevin Greene, they've been in big games and they understand that. It has to influence your preparation. You have to prepare with more of a sense of urgency than you normally do. And our preparation over the last month of the season has been very good.''


Jacksonville's season hasn't been bad, either. And the Jaguars return to the scene of their first happy moment, a 17-16 victory at the Astrodome on Oct. 1, 1995.


"I'm sure when I walk out there it will be a great memory from a year ago, because it was such a significance attached to that,'' coach Tom Coughlin said.