Houston 29, Colts 17
FOURTH QUARTER UPDATE
The Colts started the possession at their 20 after a touchback. Luck was sacked on first down, the fifth for the Colts. Completions to Coby Fleener and Wayne ended the game.
Foster converted a first down after a nine-yard completion to Johnson to start the drive. Foster followed the short rush with a 26-yard burst to the 45. Foster carried again for nine yards, with the Colts using their first timeout with 2:20 to go. Foster carried for 25 more yards to the Colts' 21 with 2:05 left. Indianapolis called its last timeout with 2:02 left after a short Foster run. Houston gained short yardage to reach the two-minute warning, facing a third-and-11 at the Colts' 22. Graham hit a 33-yard field goal with 1:05 to go.
Indianapolis converted a first down on third-and-short with Allen carrying, the Colts' first third-down conversion of the game. Allen and Luck converted a second first down on second-and-14. The completion put the Colts at the Houston 43 with less than six minutes to go. An intentional grounding call on second down forced a third-and-20, which the Colts could not convert. McAfee punted 49 yards, and Houston took possession after a penalty at its eight with 4:45 to go.
Foster rushed for a first down on third-and-one, putting Houston at the Colts' 27. Houston was flagged for holding on the subsequent play, one where Foster burst all the way for the score. Mathis made a key tackle on a screen to Foster on third-and-13, leading to a 46-yard field goal by Graham with 8:30 left.
Ballard was stopped on two runs. On third-and-15 from their three, the Colts committed an offensive pass interference penalty that was declined. McAfee punted 63 yards and Houston returned the punt 12 yards to its 46. After an unsportsmanlike penalty on Bruce Arians, Houston started at the Colts' 39 with 11:54 to go.
Johnson had a 16-yard reception on third-and-15 to keep Houston's possession alive. Antoine Bethea had a sack on Schaub after Johnson's reception and on third-and-11, the Colts held to force a punt. Jones punted deep into Colts territory and after an illegal block, the Colts started at their eight with 14 minutes left in the game.
THIRD QUARTER UPDATE
Luck hit Allen on an eight-yard touchdown pass with 2:32 left in the period to cut the score to 23-17. The bulk of the 80-yard drive came behind Ballard, who had rushes of 15, nine, one, 12 and 23 yards, putting him over 100 yards for the first time of his career. Every yard on the drive was made by a rookie.
Arian Foster burst for 31 yards on first down, after Houston had 35 rushing yards the entire first half. Johnson had a 14-yard reception on the ensuing play, then Foster gained 10 yards. Ben Tate, spelling Foster, gained nine yards. After reaching the Indianapolis eight for first-and-goal, the Colts stiffened, forcing a 27-yard field goal by Graham with 7:33 left in the quarter. Dwight Freeney had a sack to halt the possession.
Deji Karim returned the kickoff to the Colts' 39 to start the drive. Indianapolis could not capitalize on the field position, hitting one-of-three passes for four yards. McAfee punted out of bounds at the Houston 13, a 44-yard effort.
SECOND QUARTER UPDATE
Schaub hit passes for seven, five, four and 17 yards, the final one to Johnson. Houston after a Colts penalty was at the 37 in the waning seconds. The Texans reached the Colts' 31, but Graham missed wide left on a 50-yard field goal to end the half.
The Colts struck quickly to cut the deficit to 20-10. Luck hit Avery for 13 yards to start the drive, then the teamed with T.Y. Hilton on a 61-yard scoring pass. The two-play drive took 39 seconds, and 1:07 remained until the half.
Luck hit completions to Wayne and Dwayne Allen to start the drive and get a first down. Luck
was sacked and Ballard was caught for a loss to force a third-and-16 at the two-minute warning.
Indianapolis misfired on the third-down pass. McAfee's punt was blocked by Bryan Braman, who completed an eight-yard return for a touchdown with 1:46 left. It was the first blocked punt for a touchdown since October 30, 2011 at Tennessee.
Houston started at its 20 after a McAfee touchback. A potential three-and-out was short-circuited with a roughing the passer call on third down. Schaub then hit DeVier Posey on a 36-yard completion that was augmented by a personal foul penalty on the end of the play. From the Colts' 13, the defense forced two incompletions and stuffed a run. Graham hit a 35-yard field goal with 3:50 left for a 13-3 lead.
Ballard rushed for 15 and 10 yards to start the drive. On second-and-13, Luck was incomplete under pressure. A third-down touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne was negated by off-setting penalties. A second third-down pass was incomplete. Adam Vinatieri hit a 26-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 10-3.
Houston moved the ball to its eight on a rush and a completion before having to punt. Jones punted 52 yards and Hilton returned the kick 15 yards to the Houston 44. A holding call on Houston moved the ball to the Texans' 34 to start the drive.
Luck hit T.Y. Hilton for 17 yards to the 19 on the second play of the possession. Mewelde Moore rushed twice for four yards before Reggie Wayne was held on third down, giving the Colts a first down. Luck hit Avery on first down to the Texans' one. Moore fumbled on second down and Tim Dobbins recovered the fumble J.J. Watt forced. Houston took possession with 10 minutes left in the quarter.
Robert Mathis sacked Schaub on first down and ended up producing a three-and-out. Donnie Jones punted 29 yards to his 38, where the Colts will start their third possession.
FIRST QUARTER UPDATE
Indianapolis moved from its 20 to the Houston 34 before a second first-down sack on the drive pushed the Colts back to the 49. Three Houston penalties aided the possession. Donnie Avery had a 15-yard reception on the drive. The quarter ended with a Colts' third-down incompletion, forcing a punt. McAfee punted to the Houston 12, forcing a fair catch.
Starting from his 43, Schaub completed three passes for first downs, two to Owen Daniels. Johnson then made a bobbling third-down reception to move Houston to the Colts' nine. On third-and-goal from the three, Johnson made a touchdown reception from the spread formation. It was a 13-play, 57-yard drive that took 5:44 off the clock.
Indianapolis started its first drive at its eight-yard line after a penalty on the return. After Vick Ballard gained five yards on first down, Andrew Luck had two incompletions under pressure. Pat McAfee booted 49 yards, forcing a fair catch. It was Houston's 48th defensive three-and-out on the year, a league-leading total.
Matt Schaub hit Andre Johnson on nine- and 52-yard completions to start the game. Three Arian Foster rushes gained eight yards and the Colts stiffened. Shayne Graham booted a 29-yard field goal to end the quick drive.
Houston won the coin toss and elected to receive.
The roof at Reliant Stadium is closed.
COLTS GAME-DAY DEACTIVATIONS:
EXPECTED LINEUP CHANGES FOR COLTS:
Joe Lefeged starts at SS for Tom Zbikowski
Pat Angerer at Mike LB for Kavell Conner
A.Q. Shipley starts at C for Samson Satele
Jeff Linkenbach starts at RT Winston Justice
COLTS PRE-GAME NOTES:
The Colts are 8-1 in games decided by seven points or less, the most number of such games this year (8, Atlanta).
If the Colts earn a playoff berth, they will join Miami (2008) and New England (1982) on the list of teams to make the playoffs one year after going 2-14 or worse.
If the Colts get to 10 wins, they will become only the fourth team to win as many as 10 games after a season of two or fewer victories (Miami, 1-15 in 2007 and 11-5 in 2008; Colts 2-12 in 1974 and 10-4 in 1975; Oakland 1-13 in 1962 and 10-4 in 1963).
At 9-4, Indianapolis has a seven-game improvement from last season. Twice the team has had one-season eight-game improvements – from 2-12 in 1974 to 10-4 in 1975 and from 1-15 in 1991 to 9-7 in 1992. Those are tied for the seventh-best one-year jumps in history. The 1999 Colts and 2008 Dolphins share the NFL mark with a one-year 10-game jump. The Colts went from 3-13 in 1998 to 13-3.
Since the advent of the 16-game schedule in 1978, 34 teams (excluding 2011) have lost 14 or more games in a season. Only five bounced back with winning records. Detroit jumped from 2-14 in 1979 to 9-7 in 1980. New England jumped from 2-14 in 1981 to 5-4 in the strike-shortened 1982 season. The 1991 1-15 Colts were 9-7 in 1992. The 1996 1-15 New York Jets were 9-7 in 1997, and the 2007 1-15 Miami Dolphins went to 11-5.
If the Colts can gain a playoff berth in 2012, it will be their 12th since 1999, the NFL's highest total.
If the Colts can get to double-digit victories, it would mark the 10th such season since 2002, tying New England for the most in the league. New England gained its 10th this year. It would be the club's 12th since 1999, a total that would lead the league. Currently, Indianapolis is tied with New England with 11.
Indianapolis has three interceptions returned for touchdowns this year. The most in a season by the club is four in 1959, 1965, 1968, 1975 and 1996. Three this year matches the total done also in 1967, 1970 and 1994.
Andrew Luck has six 300 games, the NFL rookie record. Luck surpassed Peyton Manning (4, 1998) for the club and NFL record by a rookie quarterback.
Luck (3,792) has joined Manning (3,739, 1998) as the only Colts rookies to throw for 3,000 yards. He needs 32 completions to eclipse Manning's rookie club record (326). He needs 260 passing yards to eclipse Cam Newton's NFL record for rookie passing yards (4,051).
Earlier this year, Luck joined Newton as the only players with three 300 games in the first four games of a career. Against Miami in week nine, Luck threw for 433 yards to eclipse Newton's (432) previous NFL rookie record.
Luck has taken every offensive snap and has had a major hand in the club's successes. He became the first NFL rookie quarterback since 1971 to lead a September fourth-quarter comeback win in the club's week two triumph over Minnesota.
After the Green Bay win, Luck became the first NFL rookie to pass for 1,200 yards (1,208) and record at least two wins in his team's first four games. After the Cleveland win, he was the first NFL rookie with 1,500 passing yards (1,674) and three wins in a team's first six games.
After the Tennessee win, Luck had the highest winning percentage (.571, 4-3) by a rookie quarterback who was a top overall pick through week eight in NFL history.
He won AFC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors for his outing against Miami. Luck completed 30-of-48 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns. In facing then the NFL's best third-down defense, he completed 13-of-17 third-down passes for 204 yards and a touchdown, converting 12 third downs via the air on that down. Luck set the NFL record for best winning percentage by a top overall pick through week nine (5-3, .625; minimum two starts).
Luck set the club rookie record with four touchdown passes at Detroit. He directed scoring drives of 85 and 75 yards, ending both with touchdowns in the last 2:39 to earn the win.
Luck's fourth touchdown came with no time remaining, and he joined Russell Wilson, Tim Couch and Matthew Stafford as the only rookies since 1970 with a game-winning toss with no time left on the clock.
At Detroit with the two late scoring drives, the Colts became just the seventh team since 2000 to win a game despite trailing by 12 or more points with less than three minutes remaining. (Advanced NFL Stats calculated the chances of winning in that scenario are two percent). The 2003 Colts (at Tampa Bay) and 2009 Colts (vs. New England) were two of those teams as well.
Luck (.667) had the best winning percentage through nine games by a rookie QB who was first overall pick in Super Bowl era (6-3; minimum three starts).
Luck at Detroit surpassed St. Louis' Sam Bradford (7, 2010) for the most wins by a rookie quarterback drafted first overall. He is the winningest such rookie QB since 1950.
Luck has produced six wins in fourth-quarter or overtime fashion, snapping the record he shared with Ben Roethlisberger (2004) and Vince Young (2006). Those performances came against Minnesota, Green Bay, at Tennessee, Miami, at Detroit and vs. Tennessee.
After the Tennessee win, Luck shared the franchise mark for starting QB wins by a rookie (9-4, Chris Chandler, 1988).
The NFL post-merger record for rookie starting wins is 13 by Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco had 11 in 2008, while Kyle Orton had 10 in 2005. With nine wins, Chandler joined Joe Ferguson (1973) and was joined by Andy Dalton (2011).
Luck is averaging 291.7 passing yards a game, 8th-most in the NFL and most among rookie QBs.
Luck leads AFC QBs with 223 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. The rushing touchdowns broke the previous club seasonal record of four by Bert Jones (1974) and Peyton Manning (2001, 2006).
Reggie Wayne has receptions in 109 straight games. He leads active NFL receivers with 186 career games played. Wayne (145) is one of six Colts ever to start more than 100 consecutive games (208, Peyton Manning; 115, C-Ken Mendenhall; 104, DE-Fred Cook; 102, DB-Jason Belser; 101, OT-Tarik Glenn). He has played in 179 straight games, the league's best streak by a WR.
Wayne (956, 12,928) is 10th in NFL career receptions. The player ahead of Wayne is Randy Moss (975, 9th). He is 14th in NFL reception yards. Next on the yardage list is Steve Largent (13,089, 13th).
Against New York, Wayne became the 14th NFL player with 900 career receptions.
Against Green Bay, Wayne (13-212, 1 TD) produced his highest yardage day (200 vs. Dallas 12/5/10) and became the first Colts receiver with two career 200 regular-season games. His yardage ranked only behind Raymond Berry (224 at Washington 11/10/57) and it was the fifth 200 game in club regular-season history (224, Berry; 212, Wayne; 210, Roger Carr at NY Jets 10/24/76; 203, Reggie Langhorne at Washington 11/7/93; 200, Wayne). Wayne became only the seventh player since 1990 to have a 200 game in a 10th career season or later (James Lofton, Irving Fryar, Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe, Rod Smith, Terrell Owens (2), Wayne (2)).
He earned the AFC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors for the first time in his career.
The Colts are 29-12 when Wayne tops 100 reception yards, 21-12 when he has at least eight receptions, 55-13 when he scores a touchdown.
Wayne (77) ranks third in Colts history in career touchdowns (128, Marvin Harrison; 113, Lenny Moore). His 77 touchdown receptions are second-most to Harrison (128).
Wayne has 12,923 career scrimmage yards, second in Colts history (14,608, Marvin Harrison; 12,065, Edgerrin James).
Wayne has three or more receptions in a league-record 61 straight games, snapping the previous best of Cris Carter (1993-97). Wayne has receptions in 180 of 186 career games. He has multiple receptions in 175 outings and three or more receptions in 156 contests.
Wayne has 93.8 yardage average this year. His career-best was 94.4 in 2007. The only two times in franchise history when a player held a 100.0-yard average were 1999 (Marvin Harrison, 103.9) and 2002 (Harrison, 107.6).
Wayne (1,220) has produced his eighth 1,000-yard season. Reaching that plateau ties him with Marvin Harrison (8, 1999-2006) for the club record. Wayne had seven consecutive from 2004-10, the second-longest consecutive streak in franchise history.
Wayne has produced his sixth 1,200-yardage season (1,510, 2007; 1,355, 2010; 1,310, 2006; 1,264, 2009; 1,220, 2012; 1,210, 2004). It ties him with Harrison for the club record and ties him with Harrison and Torry Holt for third-most in NFL history behind Jerry Rice (11) and Randy Moss (8).
Wayne needs 72 reception yards to become the 3rd active player and 14th in history to reach the 13,000-yard plateau (22,895, Jerry Rice; 15,934, Terrell Owens; 15,208, Isaac Bruce; 15,184, Randy Moss; 14,934, Tim Brown; 14,580, Marvin Harrison; 14,169, Tony Gonzalez; 14,004, James Lofton; 13,899, Cris Carter; 13,777, Henry Ellard; 13,382, Torry Holt; 13,198, Andre Reed; 13,089, Steve Largent).
Wayne (94) needs 6 receptions to produce his fourth 100 -catch season. He had 104 in 2007, 100 in 2009 and 111 in 2010. If Wayne reaches 100, he will tie Marvin Harrison (115, 1999; 102, 2000; 109, 2001; 143, 2002) for the club record. Jerry Rice had four 100 -reception seasons, while Wes Welker is five receptions shy of setting the league record with a fifth such year. Brandon Marshall has four 100 -reception seasons.
If Wayne leads the team in receptions in 2012, it will be his seventh time doing so, ranking behind Marvin Harrison (9) and Raymond Berry (8) in club history, but it would tie Harrison's (6, 1999-04) club mark for the most consecutive seasons leading the team.
The Green Bay game was Wayne's 15th with 10 receptions, one behind Marvin Harrison's club record. Jerry Rice (17) and Wes Welker (17) are the all-time leaders. Harrison (16) and Andre Johnson (16) are tied for second-most. Wayne is fifth. Wayne (2007-08) is tied with Johnson (2008) and Brett Perriman (1995) for the NFL lead with three straight games with 10 catches.
Against Green Bay, Wayne became the 16th NFL player with 40 career 100 games (76, Jerry Rice; 64, Randy Moss (active); 59, Marvin Harrison, 51, Terrell Owens; 50, Don Maynard; 47, Torry Holt; 47, Michael Irvin; 46, Jimmy Smith; 45, Isaac Bruce; 43, Tim Brown; 43, James Lofton; 42, Cris Carter; 41, Lance Alworth; 40, Steve Largent; 40, Steve Smith (active)). Rice, Maynard, Irvin, Lofton, Alworth and Largent are Hall-of-Famers.
Wayne has more than 100 receptions against each AFC South foe (133, Jacksonville; 117, Houston; 103, Tennessee). It makes Wayne the eighth player with 100 or more receptions against three or more teams. He joins Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Cris Carter (who did it against four opponents), as well as Art Monk, Jerry Rice, Rod Smith and Hines Ward.
Antoine Bethea has 103 tackles this season and has 794 for his career. Bethea is one of seven Indianapolis Colts to top 700 career tackles (1,149 Jeff Herrod; 1,052, Duane Bickett; 785, Jason Belser; 754, Gary Brackett, 744, Eugene Daniel).
Kicker Adam Vinatieri has scored in the last 143 consecutive games. His 53-yard field goal with eight seconds left against Minnesota was the 24th game-winning kick of his career.
Against Tennessee, Vinatieri became the eighth player in NFL history to reach 400 career field goals. Vinatieri has 497 career field goal attempts, 10th in NFL history (Jason Elam is ninth at 540). Vinatieri (692) at Detroit moved past Lenny Moore (678) for fourth-place in Colts career scoring.
Vinatieri has eight field goals from the 50 -range, third-most in club history (18, Dean Biasucci; 14, Mike Vanderjagt).
Vinatieri needs 3 points for his 15th career 100-plus point season. It would be his fifth with the Colts, second to Mike Vanderjagt (8). Vinatieri is tied with Morten Andersen (14) and Gary Anderson (14) for the second-most 100-point seasons. The leader is Jason Elam (16).
Linebacker Jerrell Freeman topped the club in tackles in each of the first seven games before the streak was ended vs. Miami. Freeman had 13 at Chicago, 18 vs. Minnesota, 16 vs. Jacksonville, 11 vs. Green Bay, 19 at New York, seven vs. Cleveland and 15 at Tennessee. He topped the team with 13 at New England, 18 vs. Buffalo, 10 at Detroit and nine vs. Tennessee. Freeman was involved in takeaways in two of the first three outings – scoring interception return at Chicago; forced fumble against Minnesota. Freeman is the first Colts undrafted player ever to return an interception for a touchdown in a career debut, and was the first to do so in the since 1987 (LB-Peter Noga; DB-Paul Tripoli).
Against Jacksonville, T.Y. Hilton became the first NFL rookie receiver this year to post a 100-yard game when he had 113 yards against Jacksonville 9/23. He was 6-102, 1 TD vs. Miami for his second 100 outing. Hilton joined Ray Perkins (1967), Bill Brooks (1986), Marvin Harrison (1996) and Anthony Gonzalez (2007) for the second-most 100 outings by a Colts rookie receiver (3, Andre Rison, 1989). With 6-100, 2 TDs at New England, Hilton tied Rison for the club mark. Hilton set the club rookie mark for 100-yard games with 6-100 at Detroit.
Hilton was the 13th receiver taken in the draft. There were four selected in the first round, five in the second and three in the third before he was taken with the 92nd choice.
Against Buffalo, Hilton scored on a 75-yard punt return and an eight-yard reception to become the first Colts player to record such scores in the same game in franchise history. Hilton earned AFC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week honors for the achievement.
Tight end Dwayne Allen (37) at Detroit moved past John Mackey (35, 1963) for the second-most rookie receptions by a Colts tight end (42, Ken Dilger, 1995).
Linebacker Dwight Freeney (104.5) has recorded sacks against 27 of 31 teams. Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans and Washington are the only teams that Freeney has not produced a sack against. Freeney has 25 career multiple-sack games, including five three-plus sack games. He has sacked 52 different quarterbacks. Freeney has seven of the 17 double-digit sack seasons in club history.
Linebacker Robert Mathis (90.5) had an eight-game sack streak end at New England. It tied his personal-best. In 2005, he set an NFL record with sacks in eight consecutive games to start a season. Mathis has 20 career multiple-sack games, including two three-plus sack games. Mathis has four of the 17 double-digit sack seasons in club history.
The Colts are 26-8 when Freeney and Mathis combine for sacks. They each produced 10 sacks in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010 to set the NFL mark for most seasons with teammates doing so together. They surpassed Reggie White and Clyde Simmons by doing so. They have combined for 20-plus sacks in five different seasons (26.5, 2004; 22.5, 2005; 22.0, 2008; 23.0, 2009; 21.0, 2010).
There are 14 players in franchise history, nine in the Indianapolis era, to participate in at least 100 regular-season victories: 141 games, QB-Peyton Manning; 132, QB-John Unitas; 132, C-Jeff Saturday; 127, TE-Justin Snow; 125, WR-Reggie Wayne; 118, WR-Marvin Harrison; 114, P-Hunter Smith; 110, LB-Dwight Freeney; 109, P-David Lee; 108, OT-Ryan Diem; 107, LB-Don Shinnick; 106, DE-Ordell Braase; 105, C/LB-Dick Szymanski; 103, Robert Mathis.
Bruce Arians is the sixth interim head coach in club history (1972, John Sandusky, nine games; 1974, Joe Thomas, 11; 1984, Hal Hunter, one; 1991, Rick Venturi, 11 games; 2005, Jim Caldwell, one game). Arians is the lone one who is subbing for a coach (Chuck Pagano) who will return to the team.
In beating Green Bay, Arians was the only Colts interim coach to win his first game. Arians (8-2) set the franchise record for the most wins by an interim field leader in the 27-10 victory at Jacksonville.
Sandusky was 4-5 in the games in 1972 when he succeeded Don McCafferty. His four wins under those interim conditions stood as the club mark until Arians tied him with the team's 23-20 victory over Miami this year. Thomas was 2-9 in 1974 after succeeding Howard Schnellenberger, while Venturi was 1-10 in his outings in 1991 after replacing Ron Meyer. Hunter lost the final game in 1984 after the departure of Frank Kush. Caldwell lost his one game in the absence of Tony Dungy.
The only interim coaches in NFL history with nine wins (according to Stats LLC) are Wally Lemm (9-0, Houston, 1961; replaced Lou Rymkus) and Hamp Pool (9-2, LA Rams, 1952; replaced Joe Stydahar). Don Coryell (8-4, San Diego, 1978; replaced Tommy Prothro), Mike Holovak (7-1-1, Boston Patriots, 1961; replaced Lou Saban), Bruce Coslet (7-2, Cincinnati, 1996; replaced David Shula) and Art Shell (7-5, L.A. Raiders, 1989; replaced Mike Shanahan) are the most successful interim coaches in addition to Arians.