As a whole, the Texans played a solid three and a half quarters of football on Sunday afternoon. The Texans had a 20-3 lead in the fourth quarter and had plenty of opportunities to seal the win but fell apart in the end.
The Texans rushing attack never got going against the Colts. Running back Rex Burkhead lead the team in rushing with 40 yards on 14 carries, averaging 2.9 yards per carry. Rookie running back Dameon Pierce played less than Burkhead but had around the same numbers, rushing for 33 yards on 11 carries, averaging three yards per carry. Pierce must have more carries moving forward.
The passing game was decent for the most part. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks was the Texans best receiver, which is not at all surprising. Wide receiver Nico Collins had two nice catches but was not existent for the majority of the game. He has to be more involved moving forward. Tight end O.J Howard was signed by the Texans last week and was a major red zone threat.
The Texans kept Jonathan Taylor relatively in check, limiting big plays from arguably the best running back in football for a good amount of the game. The fourth quarter is when Taylor really looked unstoppable, torching the Texans defense. There needs to be more consistency in order for the defense to make the step forward that they feel like they could.
The secondary played a solid game but there are definitely a handful of plays they would like back. Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr. had good game, catching nine passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Outside of Pittman, everyone else was in check.
Here are five players that stood out against the Indianapolis Colts:
QB Davis Mills
Davis Mills has a solid game on Sunday afternoon, throwing for 240 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 98.9 rating. Mills left several plays on the field throughout this game and played it safe the entire time. Mills needs to let loose and not be so conservative. Mills definitely showed flashes, but needs to be more consistent as the season progresses.
TE O.J Howard
O.J Howard was signed last week and was the Texans best red zone threat in week one. Howard was only targeted two times and had two catches for 38 yards and two touchdowns. Safe to say Howard made the most out of his opportunity and should be a significant piece of the Texans offense moving forward.
DE Jerry Hughes
Jerry Hughes is 34 years old but did not look even close to his age on Sunday. Hughes made plays all day long and showed why he was voted as a captain for the 2022 season. DE Jerry Hughes was the 2nd-highest graded defender in week one with a 93.6 grade, according to Pro Football Focus. Hughes had three solo tackles, two sacks, one tackle for loss, two quarterback hits and an interception.
CB Steven Nelson
Steven Nelson flashed his playmaking ability throughout the offseason and continued that into week one. Nelson was targeted seven times and allowed only four receptions for 41 yards but allowed a touchdown, according to Pro Football Focus. Nelson will continue to be a solid cornerback two for the Texans.
S Jonathan Owens
Jonathan Owens continued his dominant play from 2021 into 2022. Owens had 15 total tackles and an extremely impressive pass breakup in the end zone. Owens almost snagged an interception but it hit the ground. Owens and Pitre were all over the ball throughout the entirety of the game and will be an underrated safety duo moving forward.
This game against the Colts is one that the Texans should have won, but fell apart in the fourth quarter, which eventually led to the Colts coming back and ending the game in a tie.
The good news is that the rest of the AFC South lost on Sunday and technically the Texans are in first-place in the division with a 0-0-1 record. The Colts were supposed to be the best team in the division but looked poorly coached and it is clear that the division is wide open. The Tennessee Titans lost to the New York Giants, who have not had a winning record since 2016 and the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Washington Commanders.
The Texans will take on the Denver Broncos in Denver next Sunday.