Anatomy Of The Drives: Texans Edition

Intro: The “Anatomy Of The Drives” series is back. Here’s a look at the four touchdown drives the Colts had in a 33-28 victory over the Texans on Thursday night.






Trent Richardson's five-yard touchdown runThe scene: Leading 3-0 with 11:13 to play in the first quarter, the Colts took over at their own 46-yard line.The anatomy of the drive: 9 plays for 54 yards in 2:46.Key play: You will notice a theme in this week's look at the drives and that's the presence of T.Y. Hilton. This scoring drive was just two plays and the Colts took a shot quick following the perfectly executed onside kick from Pat McAfee. The Colts haven't connected on too many deep balls in 2014, but this one was dialed up perfectly. Hilton broke free in busted Texans coverage and made a splendid diving grab for 49 yards.The score: After Hilton was ruled down on the five-yard line, the Colts would punch it in right away. A run call out of a spread look for Trent Richardson worked perfectly. The Colts showed trips to the right and the pulling blocks of Joe Reitz, Lance Louis and Gosder Cherilus paved a pitch to Richardson. A decisive cut by Richardson was key in the Colts starting running back scoring his second touchdown of 2014.


Ahmad Bradshaw's five-yard touchdown catchThe scene:Leading 10-0 with 9:15 to play in the first quarter, the Colts took over at their own 44-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:7 plays for 56 yards in 2:15.Key play:There's no denying that the No. 1 security blanket for Andrew Luck is Reggie Wayne. However, Dwayne Allen is beginning to emerge in a similar role for Luck. On this drive, the Colts faced an early third-and-three from the Texans 49-yard line. After some patience from Luck, he found Allen for 18 yards to move the chains. Allen had three catches for 49 yards on Thursday night and played 72 offensive snaps, which has to be one the highest amounts of his young career.The score:When are teams going to start to account for Ahmad Bradshaw coming out of the backfield? On this score, Bradshaw is to the right of Luck (the short side of the field) with trips to the left. Coby Fleener is the tight end right and inside linebacker Brian Cushing is just late getting to Bradshaw in the right flat. The score marked the fifth receiving touchdown of the year for Bradshaw, the most of any running back in the NFL.**


Coby Fleener's four-yard touchdown catchThe scene:Leading 17-0 with 5:02 to play in the first quarter, the Colts took over at their own 32-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:11 plays for 68 yards in 5:02.Key play:Back to Hilton. Something about playing Houston just ignites the Colts third-year receiver and on this drive he recorded another "chunk" play coming on a third-down. The Colts faced a third-and-nine at their own 33-yard line when Luck and Hilton teamed up again. This was just a crossing route by Hilton and Luck led him perfectly to accentuate the speedster's skill set and allow for plenty of yards after catch. The 33-yard reception allowed for one final score of the opening frame.The score:The Colts came out in a bit of jumbo package with two tight ends and tackle eligible Jamon Meredith. The "big" personnel shifted out of a tight pistol look into a spread formation with Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener in a trips set for Andrew Luck in the shotgun. On a third-and-goal, Coby Fleener ran a picture-perfect jerk route that completely fooled Texans linebacker Justin Tuggle. You aren't going to see too many tight ends get that wide open on a third-and-goal ever. Also, what an effort by Ahmad Bradshaw to slide to his quarterback's right and chip J.J. Watt to give Luck enough time for Fleener to complete his route. The score gave the Colts 24 first-quarter points, the most for the team in an opening frame since 1958.**


T.Y. Hilton's 33-yard touchdown catchThe scene:Leading 27-21 with 5:59 to play in the third quarter, the Colts took over at their own 20-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:7 plays for 80 yards in 3:07.Key play:With momentum building for the home team, Andrew Luck turned to the man he often looks for in chaotic situations. Reggie Wayne had a quiet evening by his Hall of Fame standards but he was key on this drive for an early first down. The Colts faced a second-and-10 at their own 20-yard line and Luck found Wayne, who broke a tackle of Johnathan Joseph and recorded a big first down to keep the Colts away from third-down, something they did throughout this touchdown drive.The score:** The receiver duo of THilton (slot) and Wayne was the tandem to watch on this touchdown. After getting torched in the first quarter, the Texans didn't take many chances with their safeties the rest of the night. Allowing Hilton to get free release is just a massive no-no and the Texans did it here. Andrew Luck hung in the pocket until the last moment and dropped a perfect pass right into the basket of Hilton's arms for No. 13's first regular season score since road contest in Houston last year.

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