Texans 37, Colts 34

Stars come out of hiding in Texans 37-34 OT win over Colts

J.J. Watt had another big game. Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

With a lot of pressure on Houston to finally get a win this season, the defense was the star in today’s 37-34 win in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts. What looked like a big win for the Texans came crashing down in the second half as they surrendered an 18-point lead and allowed the game to go to overtime. They couldn’t hold against the powerful arm of Andrew Luck and a big lead dwindled to nothing before the game’s end.

The teams traded field goals in overtime, but it was Houston getting a key defensive stop to give them one more chance at victory. Jadeveon Clowney’s sack of Andrew Luck to make it 3rd and 21 on the Colts side of the field was the big play they have been waiting for from the fifth-year player. But it was just a part of what they had done all day against the Colts.

The Texans defense helped build a big lead in the first half with constant pressure on Andrew Luck and multiple forced turnovers to keep them in a positive game script. It allowed the offense to work methodically down the field. It looked like this would be a signature win for Houston’s young season.

J.J. Watt continued his return from injuries with another dominant performance up front. He finished the day with two sacks, two forced fumbles, and a tackle for loss. He was active all day, much like he was in the years he won defensive player of the year. But he wasn’t the biggest star on the defense today. That honor belongs to Jadeveon Clowney.

Clowney finished the day with two sacks, four tackles for loss, and a touchdown on a fumble recovery. It was that touchdown that helped Houston draw even with the Colts early, tying the game at 7 points after Houston’s first offensive drive stalled. From there the Texans took control and built a 21-10 halftime lead, getting it as high as 28-10 before the Colts made their comeback.

The Texans secondary was a major weakness that Luck exploited early and often. The Colts threw for 464 yards, four touchdowns and gained 23 first downs through the air. The defensive front held their own but in the second half the Indianapolis offense found their groove and converted 3 of their 4 drives for touchdowns, eventually tying the score with 45 seconds left in the game.

Offensively, the play from Deshaun Watson looked like it was designed. He threw the ball on only 52% of the plays while Houston led for 45:42 of the game. He finished the day 29 of 42 for 375 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and 1 interception with another 41 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He accomplished that despite being sacked 7 times and being forced out of the pocket a lot more than desired. The yardage totals were good but winning the time of possession (Houston 40:04 to Indy 29:56) was big for Houston’s chances at victory.   

Once again, his wide receivers had big performances. DeAndre Hopkins hauled in 10 receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown. Will Fuller was on pace for another big day until he exited in the first half with an injury, but not before grabbing his third touchdown of the season. Rookie fourth round selection Keke Coutee, who made his debut today, filled in well. He caught 11 passes for 109 yards and was a go to target for short routes underneath.

Houston had another solid day rushing the ball, finishing with a team total of 119 yards and the one touchdown by Watson. Lamar Miller led the way with 15 carries for 49 yards and Alfred Blue for 12 carries for 31 yards of his own. The importance was that Houston was able to move the ball well most of game. The offense was 50% on third down and even converted a 4th-and-7 at one point.

It was a solid effort for Houston and thankfully they came out with a win.


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