Lately, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has been like the old-time tea kettle; he starts out slowly, then gradually warms up until he’s at full boil. Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans was no different. Manning did what he did best – mixing up the pass and run to perfection as the Colts scored on 4 consecutive second-half drives; as a result, Indianapolis defeated Houston 33-27 and kept their playoff hopes very much alive.
The first quarter was non-descript as Kris Brown kicked two field goals for Houston, sandwiching a 40-yard FG by the Colts’ Adam Vinatieri as Houston took a 6-3 lead into the second quarter. 2 FG’s by Vinatieri which sandwiched a 1-yard touchdown run by Houston’s Ahman Green gave the Texans a slim 13-9 edge going into halftime. That’s when Manning and company took over the second half.
Manning led the Colts on TD drives of 81, 80 and 73 yards, eliminating Houston’s 13-9 lead; the Texans closed the gap to 30-27 on a 2-yard TD run by Green with 8:54 left to go, but Manning engineered a 7:02 drive which led to another FG by Vinatieri, giving the Colts a 33-27 cushion. An interception of a Sage Rosenfels pass by Colts cornerback Melvin Bullitt sealed the win for Indianapolis.
Manning had an excellent outing, going 30-for-46 for 320 yards with 2 TD’s while Rosenfels went 13-of-18 for 192 yards with an INT. Joseph Addai rushed for a season-high 105 yards and a rushing TD while also catching 4 passes for 48 yards and a score; Dominic Rhodes added 48 rushing yards on 10 carries. Steve Slaton had another outstanding game, rushing for 156 yards on only 14 carries and a TD while Ahman Green, despite rushing for 17 yards, ran for 2 scores.
Reggie Wayne led all Colts receivers with 7 receptions for 90 yards while Marvin Harrison caught 9 passes for 77 yards and a TD; Dallas Clark caught 5 balls for 44 yards. Kevin Walter led all Texans receivers with 3 receptions for 79 yards while Andre Johnson caught 4 passes for 55 yards. Indianapolis (6-4) plays again next Sunday night when they fly to San Diego to take on the Chargers while Houston (3-7) also plays next Sunday as they visit the Cleveland Browns.