Drive of the Game

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Colts-Texans Drive Of The Game: Averting Disaster, Then Cashing In

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INDIANAPOLIS — The boxscore will show a seven-play, 65-yard drive that took 3:23 off the clock and ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Luck to wide receiver Dontrelle Inman.

But let’s take a closer look at the Indianapolis Colts’ 2018 Wild Card Round Drive of the Game, presented by Hays + Sons:

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Phew. That could’ve made things interesting.

That was likely the collective thought process of Colts fans everywhere when Andrew Luck found Dontrelle Inman for an 18-yard touchdown pass at the 6:29 mark of the second quarter of Saturday’s Wild Card Round matchup between the Colts and the Texans.

See, about six minutes prior, Luck’s pass was tipped in the air by (none other than) J.J. Watt, and brought down by nose tackle Brandon Dunn at the Houston 15-yard line with 12:27 to go in the quarter.

At the time, it seemed like Indianapolis was going to be the one capitalizing on an interception, as Kenny Moore II stepped in front of a Deshaun Watson pass late in the first quarter, earning his second pick in as many weeks. The Colts then needed just five plays to get into the red zone to try to take a commanding 21-0 lead before halftime — and then Watt happened.

But, thankfully, the Colts have one of the best defenses in the NFL to bail them out of potentially tough situations like these.

On the ensuing possession after the Indy interception, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson found running back Lamar Miller for 11 yards on the very first play — well, until the refs blew it dead. Illegal formation, on the offense. That’s a five-yard penalty; no play.

So try again: 1st and 15, and Miller is stuffed by Margus Hunt and Jabaal Sheard; no gain.

2nd and 15? Watson to Keke Coutee, but only for five yards.

3rd and 10: Watson takes off, but is stopped by that man again, Hunt, after gaining just four yards. Houston sends its punt team onto the field.

Phew.

After a solid 14-yard return by Chester Rogers, Indy was set up with 1st and 10 from its own 35. Head coach Frank Reich elected to chip away to begin, as the Colts got six yards on a run play from Jordan Wilkins, and then Marlon Mack got three yards on the next carry. Luck found T.Y. Hilton on 3rd and 1 for three yards to move the chains.

But then came the chunks.

Luck to Inman — 21 yards down the left side of the field.

Luck to tight end Eric Ebron — 15 yards, and now all of a sudden, the Colts were in business at the Houston 18-yard line.

That LTE (Luck-To-Ebron) connection almost paid off on the very next play, as Luck delivered a strike to the tight end in the end zone, but the ball fell to the turf at the last moment.

But on the very next play, though, Luck and Inman went to work.

It’s 2nd and 10, and Luck, lined up in the shotgun, drops back and immediately looks to his left and waits for the play to develop.

That’s because Inman completely fakes out cornerback Shareece Wright with a in-move to his right, and by the time Inman starts heading back to his left, Wright is toast. All it took from there was an on-target throw from Luck in the front-left corner of the end zone, and the Colts had the 21-0 lead they were hoping to get on their previous drive.

Inman, by the way, now has a touchdown reception in three straight games for the second time in his career.

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