COLTS 24, TEXANS 21

The streak ends as the Texans fall  24-21 to the Colts

Andrew Luck led the Colts to a win. Tim Warner/Getty Images

Houston's winning streak ended at home against the Indianapolis Colts as they fell 24-21. It was an up and down game where Deshaun Watson struggled against the blitz and the running game couldn't find its footing. Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton did what they always seem to do against Houston and the defense was not able to get key plays that had seen them win the last nine.

The Texans offense seemed lost in the first half, amassing only 114 total yards. Meanwhile the Colts got hot in their last three drives of the half to take a 17-7 lead at the break. Houston's lone score of the half came in the first quarter when they put together a 10-play, 82-yard drive that ended with Alfred Blue's second rushing touchdown of the season.

The Texans defense looked strong early in the game, holding the Colts to four consecutive three-and-out drives followed by an interception on the fourth possession. They couldn't hold it together as Andrew Luck and the Colt's offense found a weakness in the middle of the field and exploited it for three touchdowns and a field goal on their next four possessions. Luck finished the day 27 of 41 for 399 yards with two touchdowns and the one interception.

Both defenses bottled up the running game. At one point in the third quarter, each team's quarterback was its leading rusher. The Texans defense held the Colts to just 50 yards on the ground and gave up just one 4-yard touchdown run. Houston didn't fare much better, although there were times Lamar Miller looked like he was going to break out. His numbers for the day look awful though. He had so many negative rushes early on that he finished with only 33 yards on 14 carries for a 2.4-yard average.

Down 17-7 at half time, it was all about a strong start in the third quarter for Houston. They got the ball to start and marched down the field methodically for a 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to get back within 3, 17-14. It took a gutsy call on fourth down from the six-inch line that punched the ball in. Bill O'Brien dialed up a direct snap to Lamar Miller who dove under the offensive line for the score. It was short lived as the Colts went down the field in eight plays the very next drive to go back up by 10.

Houston's defense tightened up and kept the Colts from adding any more while the Texans offense was stifled. Deshaun Watson struggled to get rid of the ball, especially in the face of the blitz. Indianapolis got to him five times for minus 41 yards and forced him to average only seven yards per pass. He ended the game 27 of 38 for 267 yards and a touchdown. He was the team's leading rusher with five carries for 35 yards.

The defensive front is still impressive. J.J. Watt notched his 12th sack of the season and Christian Covington increased his total to 3.5. They stopped a lot of short plays and were able to disrupt Andrew Luck's throws multiple times. The secondary was able to get some solid pass break-ups but struggled to cover the middle of the field and the tight end. T.Y. Hilton torched them for nine catches and 199 yards. Tight end Eric Ebron had another big day for Indianapolis hauling in four passes for 65-yards and his 12th touchdown of the season.

The day wasn't without drama. With 4:30 left in the game, Houston got the ball down 24-14 and put together a 70-yard drive capped off by a seven-yard touchdown catch by DeAndre Hopkins who had been held in check for most of the game. He caught only four passes for 36-yards and the touchdown. They were now back within three points and just over two minutes left to play. Needing a stop, Andrew Luck would draw Jadeveon Clowney offsides on the other side of the two-minute warning to run out the clock and end any hope of a Houston comeback.

This was a win Houston desperately needed, as Miami was able to knock of New England. A win would have given them a chance to finish the season ahead of the Patriots in line for a playoff bye. They will have to try again next Saturday against the New York Jets.

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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