INDIANAPOLIS — It's time to get 2018 started on the right foot.
The Indianapolis Colts (3-12) today play host to the Houston Texans (4-11) at Lucas Oil Stadium in their 2017 season finale; up for grabs, beyond simple pride, is the third spot in the AFC South Division standings, as well as possible draft positioning.
The Colts had yet another close one last time out against the Baltimore Ravens, falling 23-16 in a game in which Indy blocked a late Baltimore punt, but just couldn't find the end zone as they tried to tie the game on their final drive.
The Texans, meanwhile, lost their fifth straight game on Monday, 34-6, to the Pittsburgh Steelers at NRG Stadium. Pittsburgh took a 27-0 lead into the fourth quarter before Houston finally got on the board for the first and only time all game with a three-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Yates to DeAndre Hopkins.
So let's check out the major plays as they happened each quarter in today's game:
8:15: After the Colts go three-and-out on their opening possession, the Texans start a nice little opening drive of their own, but stall at the Indianapolis 34-yard line. On the 10th play of the drive, kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn knocks in a 52-yard field goal to give the Texans an early 3-0 lead. Houston quarterback T.J. Yates went 4-of-5 for 32 yards on the drive, and was afforded quite a bit of time on a couple of those attempts to find receivers down the field; but a huge pressure by rookie outside linebacker Tarell Basham on 3rd and 5 forced Yates' first incompletion.
0:00: At the end of the first quarter, the Texans lead the Colts, 3-0.
14:55: **A long, long drive by the Colts ends with one of their easiest touchdowns of the season. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett and his crew go 75 yards in 15 plays and take 8:20(!) off the clock, and wrap things up with a six-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jack Doyle, who broke wide open along the right side of the line after initially engaging with inside linebacker Brian Cushing. Doyle — who earlier in the drive passed Dallas Clark for second place on the team's single-season receptions list by a tight end — now has four receiving scores on the year.
6:55: The Texans turn in pretty much a carbon coby of the Colts' previous drive, as they go 75 yards in 13 plays, taking eight minutes off the clock, and get into the end zone with a two-yard touchdown run by Alfred Blue. Third-down penalties kill the Indy defense on this possession, as an offsides call on Barkevious Mingo extends things for Houston early, and then a pass interference call on Quincy Wilson three plays later gave the Texans a first down at the 50.
1:44: Houston extends its lead to 13-7 with a 46-yard field goal from Fairbairn. It's another double-digit-play drive; the Texans go 58 yards in 10 plays this time around.
0:00: At halftime, the Texans lead the Colts, 13-7.
INJURY UPDATE: Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II has been diagnosed with a concussion and will not return to today's game.
6:51: **The Colts re-take the lead, 14-13, on a tough one-yard touchdown run by Marlon Mack, who never stopped churning those legs after initially getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The run game was a huge part of that 13-play, 83-yard drive; Frank Gore had rushes of 16, nine, 13 and eight yards (46 total), while Mack, before his touchdown run, bounced a 12-yard run to the outside and stiff armed Jadeveon Clowney to the ground in the process.
0:00: At the end of the third quarter, the Colts lead the Texans, 14-13.
12:07: Hassan Ridgeway, getting his first start of the season at defensive tackle in place of an injured Johanthan Hankins (who is missing his first game of the year with an ankle injury) takes advantage of a Houston blocking gaffe to get to Yates untouched in the end zone for a safety, extending the Colts' lead to 16-13. It's the third sack of the season for the second-year Texas product, and the second safety for the Indy defense in 2017; cornerback Nate Hairston brought down Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the end zone back in Week 4.
8:47: Adam Vinatieri nails a 54-yard field goal to extend the Colts' lead to 19-13. For Vinatieri, he ties Jason Elam (39) for the seventh-most made field goals from 50-plus yards in NFL history. On the drive, Gore passes the 14,000 rushing mark for his career, becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to reach that mark, but he also goes down with an apparent injury, though he is able to walk off on his own power.
0:31: Vinatieri connects on a 22-yard field goal to officially put this one out of reach; Colts lead it 22-13.
FINAL: The Colts defeat the Texans, 22-13, to finish 2017 at 4-12, complete the season sweep over Houston, finish in third place in the AFC South standings, and will officially pick No. 3 overall in April's NFL Draft.
Photos from the season finale game against the Houston Texans
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