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Anatomy of the Drives: Texans (Road) Edition

Posted Nov 5, 2013

Each week Colts.com will take a look at the Colts touchdown drives. For this week, here’s a look at the three offensive touchdown drives from the 27-24 road win over the Texans.



T.Y. Hilton’s 10-yard touchdown catch

The scene:
Down 24-6, the Colts took over at their own 22-yard line with 4:18 left in the third quarter.

The anatomy of the drive:
13 plays, for 78 yards in 4:20.

Key play:
It’s a play that probably won’t be remembered after the week but considering the circumstances, a one-yard completion to Stanley Havili was a pivotal moment on Sunday night. The Colts started the game misfiring on their first eight third-down attempts. Here, the Colts faced a third-and-one at their own 31-yard line. With a four receiver set (two receivers bunched on each side of the offensive line), Havili slipped into the flat in a similar fashion to his touchdown against Seattle last month. Andrew Luck found his fullback for the completion and Havili fell forward for a first down to keep the Colts first touchdown drive of the night alive.

The score:
The 13-play drive concluded with the Colts facing a third-and-goal from the 10-yard line. With an extra offensive lineman (Jeff Linkenbach) in there to protect Luck, the quarterback had ample time to find Hilton on this 10-yard touchdown. Hilton lined up in the slot with LaVon Brazill to the left of No. 13. On the snap, Luck locked onto Hilton and found the second-year receiver on a perfect corner route with the throw fitting into a tight window to the one-shoed Hilton.

T.Y. Hilton’s 58-yard touchdown catch

The scene:
Down 24-12, the Colts took over at their own 33-yard line with 10:32 to go in the fourth quarter.

The anatomy of the drive:
2 plays, for 67 yards in 0:46.

Key play:
Last year Trent Richardson caught 51 passes as a rookie but is still trying to find his rhythm in the Colts offense. However, on the first play of this touchdown drive it was Richardson making a play in space. Richardson caught a delayed screen pass to the short side of the field and waited patiently for blocks from Hugh Thornton and Samson Satele for a nine-yard gain. It was the first of two major screen receptions for Richardson in the final frame.

The score:
The Colts came out with a trips receiver set to the wide side of the field (right side), as Hilton was the furthest receiver from the line of scrimmage. It was all speed by Hilton on the snap as he sprinted past the entire Texans secondary. Luck, who hung in the pocket before taking a hit from J.J. Watt, found him in stride for the 58-yard touchdown reception, his third score of at least 58 yards in three career games against the Texans.

T.Y. Hilton’s 9-yard touchdown catch

The scene:
Down 24-19, the Colts took over at their own 48-yard line with 6:09 left in the fourth quarter.

The anatomy of the drive:
6 plays, for 52 yards in 2:09.

Key play:
After missing on their first eight third-down attempts, the Colts converted four in a row with a 17-yard reception by Griff Whalen being the most significant. On a third-and-10 from the Colts 48-yard line, a play needed to be made with just over five minutes remaining. The Colts sent out only three receivers on the play in an effort to keep Luck upright. With a clean pocket, Luck took his time and found Whalen over the middle of the field for the 17-yard completion.

The score:
The Whalen catch pushed the Colts into Houston territory and two plays later the offense had a second-and-eight from the Texans nine-yard line. It was another trips set to the wide side of the field (right side) but this time Luck was in the slot with Whalen and Brazill flanking him to the right. On the snap, Whalen and Brazill ran drag routes towards the middle of the field while Hilton settled into the right flat, going underneath his fellow receivers. Houston cornerback Johnathan Joseph got slowed down trying to run with Hilton and that allowed the Colts speedy receiver to make a move after catching the short pass and juke the Pro Bowl corner into the end zone for the game winning score.


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