One thing is for certain about the Indianapolis Colts: they have seemed to be able to beat their opponents in just about every conceivable way possible – or so it seems. During Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium, that analogy was definitely put to the test. Down by 13 points at halftime, they would score 28 unanswered points, enabling Indianapolis to hold off Houston 35-27. The win would allow the Colts to clinch the AFC South.
The Texans scored on their first series for the first time this season when Schaub directed an 11-play, 79-yard drive, capped by a 7-yard pass to Vonta Leach, making it 7-0; they would march down the field again on their next possession and go up 14-0 on a 5-yard TD run by Chris Brown. A Peyton Manning interception to Texans linebacker Brian Cushing would allow for another score, a 33-yard field goal by Kris Brown, putting Houston up 17-0; they would take into their locker room a 20-7 lead at halftime. And that, oddly enough, would be the beginning of the end for the Texans.
The Texans let the Colts back into the game in the third quarter as they were called for pass interference on third-and-goal from the 8-yard line, giving Indianapolis a first down on the Texans 1-yard line. Three plays later, Manning would connect on a 1-yard toss to Reggie Wayne to make it 20-14. A 4-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark with 8:24 left in the fourth quarter gave Indianapolis their first lead at 21-20; 15 seconds later, LB Clint Session would intercept a Matt Schaub pass and return it27 yards for a TD, putting the Colts up by 8. A 23-yard TD run by Chad Simpson would pad the Colts’ cushion to 35-20 with 2:52 remaining in the game. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones would score on a 10-yard pass from Schaub, bringing the Texans to within eight at 35-27 with just 18 ticks left on the game clock; one unsuccessful onside kick later, Manning would do the obligatory kneeldowns, icing the game for the Colts.
Manning had a decent game, going 27-of-35 for 244 yards with 3 TD’s and 2 INT’s while Schaub did nearly as well, going 31-of-42 for 284 yards with 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s. Joseph Addai led the Colts rushing effort with 15 carries for 69 yards while the Texans were led by Steve Slaton with 57 yards on 10 carries while catching 7 passes for 49 yards; Brown added 56 on 11 rushes and a TD.
Austin Collie led all Colts receivers with 4 receptions for 70 yards while Dallas Clark and Pierre Garcon caught 9 and 5 passes respectively for 63 yards and a score each. Kevin Walter led the Texans receivers with 7 receptions for 70 yards while Andre Johnson caught 5 for 67 yards. Indianapolis (11-0) will play again next Sunday when they host the Tennessee Titans while Houston (5-6) makes the short commute to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars – also next Sunday.