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Colts season comes to an end following Week 18 loss to Houston Texans

The Colts conclude the season with a 9-8 record.

Texans W18 Final

Despite a valiant effort, the Colts came up short in their Week 18 matchup against the Houston Texans, 23-19. Their season comes to an end with a 9-8 record.

The Colts struck first with a 38-yard field goal from Matt Gay on their opening drive. Quarterback Gardner Minshew II targeted wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. early and often, connecting on three passes for 21 yards.

Though the Texans managed to respond with a touchdown on their first offensive play of the game, both offenses were held in check for much of the first half.

The next seven combined drives ended in punts, keeping the score 7-3 deep into the second quarter. However, that all changed after the two-minute warning.

On the first play back from the break, Texans' quarterback C.J. Stroud found his fullback Andrew Beck for a one-yard touchdown. They were unable to enjoy their double-digit lead for long though.

Back on the field with 1:57 left in the half, the Colts' offense worked quickly to get into field goal range. Ultimately, they got to the Texans' 34-yard line, which set up a 52-yard field goal attempt by Gay.

View in-game highlights from the Colts versus Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 6, 2024.

After knocking it down with relative ease, the Colts cut the Texans lead to 14-6.

After the Texans were forced to punt on the first drive of the second half, it was time for the Colts to capitalize. They did just that with the help of running back Jonathan Taylor.

On the ensuing drive, Taylor ran the ball three times. His final carry was his best, as he took the handoff from Minshew all the way to the end zone for a 49-yard touchdown run.

Taylor finished the game with a season-high 188 yards on 30 carries. It was his first 100-plus rushing game since Week 10 of the 2022 season.

He left the game in the third quarter with a heel injury but returned in the fourth quarter.

Rather than just attempt the point after kick, the Colts elected to go for a two-point conversion. The decision paid off after Minshew found tight end Mo Alie-Cox wide open in the end zone.

The game was tied at 14.

The Texans re-took the lead late in the third quarter with the help of a 51-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn.

A minute and half into the fourth quarter, the Colts tied the game at 17 with a 34-yard field goal from Gay.

On the Texans' next offensive drive, they ate away at the play clock. Their 12-play drive took up seven minutes and 13 seconds before ending with a three-yard touchdown run by Devin Singletary.

Luckily for the Colts, Fairbairn missed the point after kick, making it a 23-17 deficit for them.

After driving all the way to the Texans' 15-yard line, the Colts faced a pivotal fourth-and-1. Unfortunately, Minshew was unable to complete his pass to backup running back Tyler Goodson and it led to a turnover on downs.

With 1:03 left in the game, the Colts defense was tasked with getting a stop and giving their offense an opportunity to get back on the field.

While they managed to force fourth down, Texans' punter Cameron Johnston escaped to the end zone to take seven seconds off the clock before eventually going out of bounds for a safety. The Colts attempt to lateral the ball during their punt return was unsuccessful and led to the end of the game.

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