Luck masterfully led the Colts to a 14-6 halftime lead.
Houston made it 14-13 when Arian Foster broke through a hole for a 13-yard TD run and saluted Pagano by tapping the (hash)Chuckstrong sign hanging on the wall behind the end zone instead of doing his trademark bow. Foster ran 16 times for 96 yards.
Graham’s 37-yard field goal gave Houston the lead with 5:22 to go in the third quarter, but Karim’s long TD return set off a celebration that didn’t end until after Pagano had done his dance.
‘‘It’s like a dream come true again,’’ Pagano said. ‘‘It’s the greatest feeling in the world to be down there.’’
Schaub finished 24 of 36 for 275 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. Foster ran 16 times for 96 yards.
NOTES: Andre Johnson caught 12 passes for 141 yards and became the second player in league history with three seasons of 100 or more catches and 1,500 or more yards. The other: Former Colt Marvin Harrison. ... Manning had 326 completions, Luck finished the season with 339. ... Watt had a shared sack taken away in the first half when the officials erased a sack-fumble of Luck because of the Tuck Rule. ... The Colts lost starting guard Joe Reitz in the first half with a head injury. ... Houston linebacker Daryl Sharpton left the game with a hip injury. Linebacker Tim Dobbins left in the second half with what Kubiak thought was a shoulder injury.
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