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Colts/Texans Notebook: Returner Quan Bray Continues To Provide Spark

Intro: In the Colts/Texans Week 15 Notebook, we take a look at the highlight reel return ability of rookie Quan Bray, the Colts not capitalizing on their field position and what the AFC South looks like with two weeks left in the regular season.


INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts playoff hopes took a serious hit on Sunday in the team's third straight loss to start the month of December.

While the Colts will have to scoreboard watch the final two weeks of the regular season, they do continue to receive special teams contributions from rookie Quan Bray.

Here's a notebook look at the Colts dropping a third straight game:

**Rookie Quan Bray Ignites Home Crowd

**The Colts wide receiver position has never been more crowded in 2015. Yet, rookie Quan Bray continues to show why he's maintained his roster spot.

In Sunday's loss, Bray had four punt returns for 67 yards, including a 33-yarder---the longest the Colts have had in two years.

Bray also averaged 26.7 yards on three kickoff returns.

"He's a playmaker," Chuck Pagano said of Bray after the 16-10 loss.

"He's got that ability and our guys saw that in him early on, all the way back to OTAs and Training Camp and that's why we went down that road when we went to bring him up (from practice squad)."

One of the college football's best returnmen last year, Bray was an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.

Bray caught the eye of Pagano and Andrew Luck during Training Camp, working his way into occasional first-team reps at Anderson.

He's now making quite the impression as a spark on special teams.

"He had opportunities and he gave us great returns, he gave us great energy," Pagano said of Bray's contributions on Sunday.

"He lifted this whole team literally by himself for a period of time. Just a fantastic job by him. He's a tough, tough kid. He's a talented kid. He's a courageous guy."**

Colts Can't Keep Field Position In Second Half **

As the massive disparity in field position began to change on Sunday, so did the score.

In Sunday's first half, the Colts average drive start was at their own 48-yard line. Houston's was at their own 14-yard line.

Despite such a contrast in a critical category, the Colts only led by seven at halftime.

That would prove costly in the second half.

Houston started two drives in Colts territory in the second half and put together a 90-yard touchdown drive that ultimately was the difference on Sunday afternoon.

"You just can't let a team hang around in this league," D'Qwell Jackson said after the 16-10 loss.

"When you smell blood, you got to be able to put them away offensively, defensively. I thought our special teams really stood out for us punting the ball well, coverage teams were great. Towards the end, it's about finishing the game."

The loss on Sunday was extra salty considering the Texans had to turn to their fourth-string quarterback.

Weeden entered the game late in the second quarter and led the Texans on all four of their scoring drives.

"It was pretty much the same thing with the first quarterback," Jerrell Freeman said of how the Texans' scheme changed with Weeden.

"It was pretty much the same, try to establish the run and go off play-action and that's what Houston is."

Photos from the week 15 game against the Houston Texans.

**Texans Now Have AFC South Control

**For the first time since 2012, the Houston Texans have AFC South control in the month of December.

If the Texans (7-7) win either of their final two remaining games, they will win the AFC South (based off using ESPN's playoff simulator).

For the Colts (6-8) to win the division, they will need Houston to lose both of their remaining games.

As of right now, the 8-8 tiebreakers aren't in the Colts favor.

Jacksonville needs to win out and get some major, major help from the Texans and Colts in order to win the AFC South at 7-9.

Houston closes with a trip to Tennessee and Jacksonville at home. The Colts will travel to Miami in Week 16 before finishing the regular season with a home game against the Titans.**

Colts/Texans Snap Counts**

  • The wide receiver snaps on Sunday went as followed: T.Y. Hilton (51-of-54), Donte Moncrief (39-of-54), Andre Johnson (22-of-54), Phillip Dorsett (10-of-54) and Griff Whalen (10-of-54).
  • The running back reps were led by Frank Gore (38-of-54). Behind Gore, Boom Herron (7) and Zurlon Tipton (5) took up the rest of the running back workload.
  • At tight end, the snaps were divided up with Dwayne Allen receiving 39 snaps. Coby Fleener also logged 26 snaps. Jack Doyle played 22.
  • Anthony Castonzo returned from his sprained MCL to play all 54 offensive snaps at left tackle.
  • In relief of an injured Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst played 4 snaps.
  • D'Qwell Jackson and Vontae Davis played all 76 defensive snaps.
  • Back from injury, Jerrell Freeman (64) and Erik Walden (49) were both in their starting roles.
  • Starting for Greg Toler, Darius Butler played 73 of the 76 defensive snaps.
  • At outside linebacker, with Bjoern Werner inactive, the snaps went to: Walden (49), Robert Mathis (46), Trent Cole (32) and Jonathan Newsome (25).
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