Colts Hold On For Critical Division Win In Houston

Intro: Thursday night football gave fans some entertainment this week with the Colts holding on for a 33-28 road victory in Houston. Here’s a rundown of just how the Colts earned their fourth straight victory of 2014.


HOUSTONFirst Quarter Recap

The Texans won the toss and elected to receive.

Wanting to get off to a fast start, the Texans chose to receive the opening kickoff. However, a fast start was not in the works as the Colts forced a three-and-out thanks to a pass-breaking break on the ball by Vontae Davis on third-down.

The Colts offense went to work and got three points thanks to a beautiful throw and catch by Andrew Luck to T.Y. Hilton for 40 yards on a third-and-15. Things would stall inside the 10-yard line though and the Colts would have to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri. The Colts led 3-0 with 11:13 left in the first quarter.

It was back into the special teams bag of tricks for special teams coach Tom McMahon. The Colts recovered their third onside kick of the season (no other team has recovered one) when Pat McAfee pounced on his own onside kick.

Pep Hamilton would waste no time taking a shot. T.Y. Hilton got free in the Houston secondary for a 49-yard gain and on the next play Trent Richardson scored from five yards out to push the Colts lead to 10-0 with 10:40 left in the first quarter.

Houston would follow with another three-and-out as Erik Walden got some pressure on Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to force an errant, third-down throw.

The Colts offense would be a bit more methodical on this drive but still just as productive. A seven-play, 56-yard drive was capped off by Ahmad Bradshaw catching his fifth touchdown of 2014, this one from five yards out. The score put the Colts ahead 17-0 with 7:00 minutes left in the first quarter.

This had the early makeup of past Thursday night games with the Colts defense forcing another three-and-out. Back-to-back sacks from Erik Walden and D'Qwell Jackson gave the ball back to the Indianapolis offense.

One final touchdown drive was in the works in the first quarter. An 11-play, 68-yard drive ended with Coby Fleener hauling in a four-yard receiving touchdown. The Texans came into Thursday having not allowed a first quarter point all year.

At the end of the first quarter, the Colts led the Texans 24-0.

Second Quarter Recap

Houston would get on the board to start the second quarter after a Colts special teams penalty on fourth down gave the Texans new life. Andre Johnson's four-yard touchdown catch brought the Colts lead to 24-7 with 9:43 to go in the second quarter.

Momentum began to slide Houston's way with an Andrew Luck pass being tipped and linebacker Justin Tuggle coming down with the interception.

The Texans didn't waste much time making this a ball game. In just a 1:06, Houston moved 26 yards with Arian Foster scoring from 12 yards out. The Colts lead was now 24-14 with 8:22 left in the first quarter.

It was time for the Colts to put together a clock-eating, scoring drive and that's exactly what happened. The 15-play drive was capped by Adam Vinatieri knocking home a 34-yard field goal. The Colts now led 27-14 with 1:05 to play in the half.

A final three-and-out was forced by the Colts, thanks to a sack from Ricky Jean Francois (now nine Colts with a sack on the season).

At halftime, the Colts led the Texans 24-14.Third Quarter Recap

The Colts settled for their first punt of the night on the opening drive of the third quarter. Once again Pat McAfee pinned the opponent back with the punt being downed at the seven-yard line.

The field position would flip right back with Texans punter Shane Lechler booming a Texans club record 71-yard punt.

It was another punt from the Colts with the visitors still holding a 13-point lead at the 7:04 mark of the third quarter.

Houston would end the string of punts with an impressive drive. Arian Foster's two-yard touchdown run brought the Colts lead down to 27-21 with 5:59 to go in the third quarter.

Facing a one-possession cushion for the first time since early in the first quarter, the Colts offense did not panic. T.Y. Hilton was once again the go-to guy. His 33-yard touchdown gave him 207 receiving yards on the night and extended the Colts lead to 33-21 (failed two-point conversion try) with 2:52 left in the third quarter.

At the end of the third quarter, the Colts led the Texans 33-21.Fourth Quarter Recap

Houston looked prime to cut back into the Indianapolis lead but kicker Randy Bullock missed from 37 yards out. The Colts took over with 14:19 to go in the fourth quarter, leading 33-21.

Indianapolis penetrated Houston territory but momentum once again changed. A botched snap led to a loose ball on the ground and All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt picked up the bouncing ball and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. With 10:36 left in the fourth quarter, the Colts led 33-28 over Houston.

The Colts offense would again move the ball but an overturn of a Reggie Wayne third-down catch ended the drive short of midfield. Houston took over at its own 11-yard line, down five with 8:13 to play.

Houston's offense would get across midfield quickly. Everything came to a halt though when Vontae Davis stripped Andre Johnson and veteran safety Mike Adams recovered the loose ball. The turnover gave the Colts the ball at their own 40-yard line with 4:38 remaining.

With the Colts trying to drown out the remaining time, Reggie Wayne caught a critical third-down pass. The Texans would hold though and get the ball back with 2:15 left at their own 11-yard line.

Needing to go 91 yards for the game-winning score, the Texans drive would end with a Ryan Fitzpatrick fumble forced by Bjoern Werner and D'Qwell Jackson pouncing on the loose ball.

The final score on Thursday night was 33-28 in favor of the Colts.

Colts Inactives

20-Darius Butler

55-Victor Butler

62-Khaled Holmes

69-Hugh Thornton

73-Kelcy Quarles

75-Jack Mewhort

97-Arthur Jones

Colts Pre-Game Notes

-The Colts have won nine straight games in the AFC South. Weather Update

-It's a perfect evening in Houston with temperatures in the 70s. The roof will be closed at NRG Stadium.

Looking to have pre-reserve gameday parking at Lucas Oil Stadium? Check out *Parkwhiz for your parking needs.*

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