Griff Whalen's 14-yard touchdown catchThe scene: Tied at 0, the Colts took over at their own 20-yard line with 15:00 to go in the first quarter.The anatomy of the drive: 11 plays, for 80 yards in 5:29Key play: It's no secret the Colts have struggled to sustain drives in opening halves since the bye week. That wasn't the case on the first drive on Sunday. A trio of third-down conversions was the key on this drive. An eight-yard reception by T.Y. Hilton converted a third-and-three. Then a pair of third-and-one rushes by Trent Richardson pushed the Colts deeper into Houston territory. Getting in third-and-"manageable" situations is critical moving forward and on this drive that was definitely the case.
The score: Richardson's second conversion set the Colts up with a first-and-10 at the Houston 14-yard line. Whalen lined up the furthest right of the three-receiver formation across from former first round pick Kareem Jackson. Whalen got inside position of the man cover from Jackson and created plenty of separation to allow Luck to deliver a strike to his collegiate teammate. It was the first NFL touchdown for the 2012 undrafted free agent.
Trent Richardson's nine-yard touchdown catchThe scene: Up 10-3, the Colts took over at the their own 30-yard line with 9:14 to go in the second quarter.The anatomy of the drive: 4 plays, for 70 yards in 2:11.Key play: T.Y. Hilton had been bogged down by opposing defenses the past three games. He said after the game that there was a focus to get him the ball early on Sunday and the stats back that up. On a second-and-eight from the Colts 32-yard line, Hilton lined up on the inside of a trips set to the right side of a shotgun formation. Hilton ran a corner route and got behind a holding penalty from Pro Bowl cornerback Johnathan Joseph. With some separation between Joseph, Hilton hauled in the 41-yard receptionThe score: Pep Hamilton has said that he wants to find more creative ways to get Richardson the ball and this touchdown was one way of that. Lined up on the left hash, the Colts came out with no receivers to the left side of the field. In a shotgun formation, Richardson was to the left of Luck. At the snap, Luck faked a run to the right with left guard Hugh Thornton pulling to the right. Thanks to some great blocking, in particular Anthony Castonzo sliding down on Pro Bowler Antonio Smith, the hole was massive for Richardson to take the shovel pass and eventually hop over Thornton for his first touchdown since late September.