Yes, the Houston Texans lost last night’s game to the Indianapolis Colts 27-24. But of more importance is the health of their head coach Gary Kubiak who collapsed at halftime of this game as he was walking toward the team locker room. He was later taken to a local hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Amid all the trials and tribulations of the Texans season they had to have a night like this. Houston had a 24-6 lead as late as the :12 second mark of the third quarter, but then they slowly lost that lead and the game as Colts offensive leaders T.Y. Hilton (7 catches for 121 yards and 3 scores) and quarterback Andrew Luck (18 of 40 for 271 yards, 3 touchdown passes and no picks) went to work on the Texans’ top ranked pass defense. And as mentioned before, their head coach collapsed near the Colts 23 yard line as he was heading to the locker room. All this in front of the largest crowd [71,778] to see a Texans football game in their 14 year history.
As if the above paragraph didn’t point out enough of the Texans 2013 misery, they also lost their sixth straight game. Meanwhile, with this loss the Texans drop to 2-6 overall which includes the fact that they haven’t won a game since September 15 versus the Tennessee Titans. Moreover, this loss also gave the Texans a record of 4-8 all-time at home to the Colts as well as a 5-19 ledger versus the Colts since 2002 which was the year of their [Texans] inception into the NFL.
This loss also overshadowed a marvelous game put forth by star receiver Andre Johnson who caught 9 passes for 229 yards and 3 scores. In just the first quarter alone he had a game for the ages, as he laid his hands on 3 catches for 119 yards and 2 scores by the 4:13 mark of that quarter. But more important than Johnson’s superlative game is the fact that the Colts 12th ranked pass defense shut Johnson down in the second half, as he caught just 2 passes for 29 yards and no score.
As for the Colts they moved to 11-3 coming off of a bye week since 2000. And for Las Vegas bettors sake, the Colts are 4-0 versus the Texans when coming off a bye week since the 2003 season.
Up 7-0 with just under 4:25 to go in the first quarter, Texans quarterback Case Keenum (20 of 34 for 350 yards, 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions) play-faked to running back Ben Tate, then the passer rolled to his right where he fired deep down field for Johnson who caught the pass over safety Antoine Bethea with the receiver then running into the end zone to complete a 41 yard scoring connection. That play made the score 14-0 Texans with 4:13 left in the first quarter.
The Colts finally got on the board with 3:33 left in the second quarter, as kicker Adam Vinatieri booted a successful 30 yard field goal to make the score 14-3.
But the Texans countered when Keenum threw a corner-fade touchdown pass to Johnson over cornerback Vontae Davis. That play gave the Texans a comfortable at the time, 21-3 lead with just :34 seconds left in the first half.
In the second half was where the Luck to Hilton connection added to their historical place in Colts history. Down 24-6 after a Randy Bullock 43 yard field goal, the Colts went on a 14-play 78 yard drive that culminated in a back of the end zone 10 yard touchdown pass from Luck to Hilton who beat cornerback Brice McCain in the process. McCain though atoned for his victimization on the previous play, by providing solid coverage on Colts receiver Griff Whalen who missed Luck’s pass on the ensuing 2-point conversion play. Now it was 24-12 Houston with just :5 seconds left in the third quarter.
After a missed Bullock 43 yard field goal early in the 4th quarter, the Colts took over on their own 33 yard line. On the second play of this drive, Luck with good blindside protection from left tackle Anthony Castonzo, fired deep down the middle to Hilton who beat double coverage from McCain and safety Johnathan Joseph for a 58 yard touchdown pass. With that huge momentum swinging score, it was 24-19 after Vinatieri’s successful extra point.
Then Hilton worked more of his magic. He got off the line and into his route, then he turned around and caught a Luck pass at the HOU 7 yard line then proceeded to juke Joseph at the HOU 4 yard line and soon he was in the end zone. With tight end Coby Fleener’s successful 2-point conversion catch versus double coverage, it was now 27-24 Colts with exactly four minutes left in the game.
But it wasn’t until Bullock missed a 55 yard field goal near the end of the game that the Colts could breathe a sigh of relief.
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