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.

Every-Thing Sports

Texans vs Chiefs: Good, bad & ugly

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The Texans and Deshaun Watson won the battle of the two best quarterbacks from the 2017 draft over Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs 31-24. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Although both young quarterbacks had two turnovers each, it was Watson who outdueld Mahomes. He had a total of 322 yards and three touchdowns to Mahomes' 272 yards and three touchdowns. It was his ballsy playmaking ability on two fourth down conversions, as well as his timely rushing touchdowns in a big time road win that put him over.

-Rookie defensive lineman Charles Omenihu had a crucial strip sack of Mahomes just before halftime. Linebacker Benardrick McKinney recovered the fumble and the Texans scored on the next play to go up 23-17 with their 20th unanswered points of the first half. This was a huge momentum shifter.

-Tashaun Gipson caught the first Mahomes interception of the season in the second quarter. The Chiefs were driving again and in field goal range when Mahomes took a shot at the end zone thinking he had a free play because of a potential pass interference/defensive holding call. The refs remarkably overruled the original call and ruled it an interception. Shocker!

The Bad

-Whitney Mercilus jumped offsides and Mahomes took a deep shot knowing he had a free play. Tyreek Hill won the jumpball over Justin Reid and Phillip Gaines. Hill is listed at 5'10, but looked as if he was 6'7 when he leaped to catch the ball. Reid appeared to have the ball in his grasp, but came up empty.

-Carlos Hyde fumbled on the first play from scrtimmage where he appeared to have simply lost his grip on the ball. The no-contact fumble was recovered by the Chiefs and led to a field goal to put the score at 10-0 about five minutes into the game.

-Watson threw a pick into double coverage trying to go for DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone while thewy were in field goal range down 24-23. It was his second pick of the day. It also came after Hopkins dropped a potential touchdown catch uncharacteristically taking his eyes off the ball before securing the catch.

The Ugly

-Horrible missed call on an offensive pass interference on the Chiefs opening drive! Travis Kelce basically threw a pass block that opened up Damien Williams for a huge 52-yard gain. The Texans challenged the call and the refs upheld it. This was the epitome of ref C.Y.A.

-The two teams combined for 14 penalties for 114 yards in the first half. That was most in a half this season. In an offensive shootout, penalties can kill you. They ended the game with 21 combined penalties for 149 yards.

-Rookie offensive lineman Tytus Howard was carted off with a leg injury on the third play of the 3rd quarter. It looked to be somewhat serious as his leg was rolled on and bent in a weird way. Bradley Roby gingerly walked off the field mid way throught he 3rd quarter and left the Texans with four healthy corners. Few plays later, Chiefs went up 24-23 on another Hill touchdown catch.

The Texans put together a great gameplan and it went as well as one could expect against a juggernaut like the Chiefs. Bill O'Brien deserves come credit. He gambled on a couple key 4th down conversions because he trusted Watson to do the right thing. He also committed to the run to the tune of 192 yards on the ground, despite Hyde's early fumble. Hyde himself ended up with 116 yards rushing. If O'Brien and Watson keep this up, there could be big things on the horizon. Next week's matchup against the Colts in Indy will tell us who's the big dog in the AFC South. Can O'Brien and Watson make magic again?

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