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Pro Football / Week 15 : Colts Near Elimination After 34-16 Loss to Jets

Associated Press

Eric Dickerson was held to just 42 yards rushing Saturday as the New York Jets defeated Indianapolis, 34-16, and pushed the Colts almost out of playoff contention.

The Colts (8-7) will be eliminated if the New England Patriots win today or the Cleveland Browns win Monday night.

If New England and Cleveland both lose, the Colts must defeat the Buffalo Bills next week to have an outside shot.

“We played very sloppy today,” Dickerson said after being held to his lowest rushing total this season. The National Football League’s rushing leader has been held to fewer than 100 yards in 5 of the last 6 games.

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“We didn’t deserve to win,” Dickerson said. “Even if we had come back and won the game, it would have been a great victory, but we didn’t deserve to win.”

The Jets (7-7-1) trailed, 13-10, at halftime but scored 21 points in the third quarter.

Freeman McNeil, who rushed for 100 yards in 23 carries, had a 1-yard touchdown run, and Johnny Hector added a 2-yard scoring run as the Jets went ahead, 24-10. After Dean Biasucci’s 45-yard field goal brought the Colts within 24-16, Jet quarterback Ken O’Brien threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Al Toon.

Toon had 7 catches for 103 yards and leads the league with 89 receptions for 1,011 yards.

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Dickerson scored on a 9-yard run in the first period and with a 50-yard flip pass over the blitzing defense. That touchdown, his first as a receiver since his rookie year of 1983 with the Rams, came when quarterback Gary Hogeboom switched from the shotgun, moved behind center and called an audible. Dickerson slipped through, took Hogeboom’s lob and raced untouched to the end zone.

Biasucci missed the extra point after Dickerson’s first touchdown because of a bad snap. It was his first miss of the season, after 77 successful conversions.

Hogeboom, who replaced injured Chris Chandler in the first quarter, completed 16 of 30 passes for 217 yards and 3 interceptions.

O’Brien, who completed 10 of 19 passes for 115 yards and 1 touchdown, replaced Pat Ryan, who completed 4 of 11 for 56 yards and threw 3 interceptions.

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The Jets’ JoJo Townsell returned a punt 59 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, and Pat Leahy had 35- and a 46-yard field goals.


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