INDIANAPOLIS— The outlook was bleak but don't tell that to Chuck Pagano's Colts.
On the road and down 24-6 with just over a quarter remaining, the Colts were searching for their first third-down conversion against the league's best defense.
Once that came, the floodgates opened with T.Y. Hilton catching a career-high three touchdown receptions and Andrew Luck orchestrating his 10th game-winning drive in just 25 games.
The comeback began with an up-tempo drive late in the third-quarter with Hilton catching a 10-yard touchdown on a third-and-goal.
Following a missed field goal by Houston kicker Randy Bullock, the Colts wasted no time cutting the Houston lead to one possession.
Just two plays after the missed field goal, there was Hilton getting behind the Texans (2-6) secondary for a 58-yard touchdown, his fourth career touchdown reception of at least 50 yards.
The Colts defense held strong and gave the ball back to the offense with 6:09 remaining, at the Indianapolis 48-yard line.
This time it was a 52 yard-drive in six plays with Hilton scoring on a nine-yard touchdown reception to give the Colts their first lead of the game at 27-24 with four minutes left.
With the offense securing the lead, it was back on the Colts defense to keep the three-point cushion.
A pair of defensive stops ended when a final 55-yard field goal attempt by Bullock missed to the left allowing the Colts to escape Houston with yet another comeback victory.
For the game, Luck was 18-of-40 for 271 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Hilton was the go-to guy for a majority of the second half and caught seven passes for 121 yards and a career-high three touchdown receptions.
With Reggie Wayne not in the lineup and Darrius Heyward-Bey exiting in the second half, the Colts played nearly the entire second half with second-year players at the offensive skill positions.
Houston was led by Andre Johnson catching nine balls for 229 yards and three touchdowns but the Pro Bowl receiver had just two receptions after halftime.
The Colts are now 7-0 under Pagano when the team doesn't commit a turnover.
With the first win in Houston since 2009, the Colts (6-2) maintained their two-game lead in the AFC South.
Indianapolis will now play two games in five days beginning with the St. Louis Rams (3-5) coming to Lucas Oil Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. EST kickoff on Sunday.
FIRST QUARTER (14:00 remaining)
Houston wasted no time starting the scoring on Sunday night. On a play-action fake, Texans quarterback Case Keenum found Andre Johnson wide open for a 62-yard touchdown. Johnson ran a near perfect out-and-up for his first touchdown reception of 2013. Houston kicker Randy Bullock hit the extra point. Texans 7, Colts 0
FIRST QUARTER (4:13 remaining)
For the second time in the opening quarter, a breakdown in the Colts secondary allowed for a Johnson touchdown. The Pro Bowl receiver got behind Colts safety Antoine Beteha for a 41-yard touchdown reception. The two-touchdown game for Johnson is his first since Dec. 2010. Bullock made the extra point. Texans 14, Colts 0
SECOND QUARTER (3:30 remaining)
The Colts finally got on the board late in the second quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri. A 47-yard pass interference penalty aided the Colts on the Vinatieri field goal drive. Texans defensive line pressure stalled the Colts inside the red zone. Texans 14, Colts 3
SECOND QUARTER (0:34 remaining)
It's been the Andre Johnson show for the entire first half. Johnson's five-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left in the second quarter gave the Pro Bowl receiver seven receptions for 190 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. The touchdown was set-up by Keenum scrambling 22 yards on the prior play. Bullock converted the extra point. Texans 21, Colts 3
THIRD QUARTER (11:54 remaining)
The Colts put together their best offensive drive together of the night before it ended with Vinatieri hitting a 35-yard field goal. The drive started off with David Reed returning the opening kickoff of the second half 39 yards. The Colts are now 0-of-8 on third down. Texans 21, Colts 6
THIRD QUARTER (4:25 remaining)
Houston ate up over seven minutes off the third quarter clock with a drive that ended with a Bullock 43-yard field goal. The drive began at the Houston 13-yard line but Keenum escaped from a potential sack on a third-and-eight for a first-down completion early in the drive. Texans 24, Colts 6
THIRD QUARTER (0:05 remaining)
With an up-tempo offense, the Colts offense moved quickly into Texans territory before T.Y. Hilton caught a 10-yard touchdown catch on a third-and-10. Hilton came alive on the drive with a pair of third-down conversions. Hilton leads the Colts with five catches for 54 yards. The two-point conversion attempt failed with Luck throwing an incomplete pass to Griff Whalen. Texans 24, Colts 12
FOURH QUARTER (9:46 remaining)
It took just two plays and the Colts are now down just one possession. A perfectly thrown deep ball by Luck fell right into the hands of Hilton for a 58-yard touchdown. The drive began with a nine-yard screen pass to Trent Richardson. Vinatieri connected on the extra point to bring the Colts to within five points. Texans 24, Colts 19
FOURH QUARTER (4:00 remaining)
The Colts have now scored 21 straight points as Hilton scores on a nine-yard touchdown reception. It's now a career-high three touchdown receptions for Hilton and the speedster now has seven catches for 121 yards on the night. On the two-point conversion, Luck placed a ball into a tight window with tight end Coby Fleener hauling in the pass. Colts 27, Texans 24