The Houston Texans finally played a team that can throw the ball competently. The Indianapolis Colts also happened to be the last team Houston played that could do this. That Colts team also hadn’t settled on an offensive line, lost a fumble in the end zone, had Andrew Luck strip-sacked by J.J. Watt that became an offensive touchdown, lost T.Y. Hilton in the third quarter, and still managed to lose 37-34 in overtime, after an absurd Frank Reich fourth down decision.
This time, things were different. The Colts threw the ball downfield, as Andrew Luck found T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, and Zach Pascal. Luck had 399 passing yards and averaged 9.7 yards an attempt. Hilton had 9 catches for 199 yards. Ebron had 4 catches for 65 yards. Pascal had 5 catches for 68 yards. The Colts’ offensive line allowed pressure, but Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and the rest had trouble bringing the big boy down. When the Colts threw the ball, they were unstoppable. Luckily for Houston, Frank Reich ran the ball at silly times and put Indy in longer third downs. The Colts picked up only 2.6 yards a carry.
It all came down to 3rd and 1 with two inutes left. The Colts came out in a heavy offensive formation, alluding to a run play, and Luck was able to pull Clowney off the line to give the Colts a first down, sealing this game shut.
The Texans almost came back after being down ten late. Deshaun Watson led a touchdown drive at the end of the fourth and found DeAndre Hopkins in the back of the end zone to make it 24-21. Overall, Houston’s offense was fine; it just wasn’t good enough to get past the 21 point mark, a mark that had been enough in the previous nine games. The Texans were up against a defense that’s good, that no one realizes is actually good. The run game struggled. Watson had trouble finding anyone open. The Colts’ weak side defensive back blitzes were diabolical and kept Watson in the pocket.
This game isn’t the end of the world. That orange orb will be up tomorrow. This marble will keep spinning. The Texans are still favorites to win the AFC South.
The problem is that this team is going to be in the NFL Playoffs. In the playoffs, they’ll have to play even better passing offenses. The Chargers, Steelers, Patriots, and Chiefs can all throw it better than Indy can.
That will be another day. Next week, the Texans play the Jets on Saturday December 15th at 3:30 CST.