The Houston Texans went into the last week of the season with a chance to wrap up the #1 seed in the playoffs in the AFC and make sure that they never had to leave the confines of Reliant Stadium throughout the playoffs. All they had to do is win against the Indianapolis Colts, a divisional team that the Texans faced just 2 weeks ago and beat. The Texans couldn’t do it though, they started the game slow and never really recovered as Andrew Luck and the Colts beat them 28-16 on Sunday in the emotional return of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. The game was the 1st game back since starting leukemia treatments earlier this season.
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, left, talks to Houston Texans Andre Johnson following the game.
Not going to sugar coat this one people, the Texans had some serious issues on offense and on special teams on Sunday. The offense moved the ball, but couldn’t get points out of any of their drives most of the game. Looking at the Texans stats on the offensive side you’d think they blew the Colts out on Sunday. Arian Foster had 96 yards on 16 carries and a TD. WR Andre Johnson had another great game with 12 catches and 141 yards. The Texans out gained the Colts in total yardage 352 to 265 and even converted on 5 of 11 3rd down attempts on Sunday. It wasn’t enough to overcome the Colts after turning the ball over twice on interceptions by QB Matt Schaub. The Texans lost the time of possession battle once again for the 2nd week in a row. No coincidence that they lost both of those games and both could have clinched the AFC’s #1 seed for the Texans.
Defensively the Texans were solid once again, but because of penalties they couldn’t get the Colts off the field in a timely manner on Sunday. The Colts were only able to gain 265 yards of total offense on Sunday. 1 of the 3 TD’s scored by the Colts wasn’t on the defense as the Texans special teams unit allowed the Colts to return a kickoff 102 yards for a TD. The Texans defense actually held Andrew Luck to a 50% completion percentage but being on the field more than the offense is never a recipe for success. DE JJ Watt was chasing Micheal Strahan’s single season sack mark and needed 2.5 to break it and 2 to tie it. Watt didn’t get a single sack in the game but he was able to make plays behind the line of scrimmage as he was able to get a couple tackles for loss. Watt who was more focused on winning and securing the coveted #1 seed had this to say about not breaking or tieing the record on Sunday: “We didn’t win, so I could care less about the (sack) record. I want to win football games.” Watt knows the feeling of losing in the playoffs from last season when he made huge plays as a rookie, and doesn’t want to feel it again.
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster celebrating with his teammates after his TD run on Sunday.