|Date of game: 10/9/2014
Recap: Houston vs. Indianapolis
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton lit up the Texans secondary and the Indianapolis Colts held off a Houston comeback to earn a 33-28 victory in a matchup of the top two teams in the AFC South.
Thursday games this season had been decided by an average of 29 points, and it appeared another blowout was on tap when the Colts jumped out to a 24-0 lead.
Houston, though, fought back and pulled within 33-28 when the incomparable J.J. Watt returned a botched shotgun snap 45 yards for a touchdown.
The Texans had two possessions inside five minutes remaining and both times lost fumbles, and the Colts (4-2) survived to win their fourth straight game.
Luck threw for 370 yards with touchdown passes to Ahmad Bradshaw, Coby Fleener and Hilton, who finished with nine receptions for 223 yards, one shy of the franchise's single-game record.
Arian Foster gained 141 yards from scrimmage and ran for two touchdowns for Houston (3-3), which has dropped three of its last four.
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 15-of-23 passes for 212 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Andre Johnson, but both lost critical fumbles down the stretch.
"When you give a team a 24-point lead right out the gate, you're going to have a difficult time," said Watt, who became the fifth player in NFL history with a receiving, fumble return and interception return for a touchdown "It would have been easy to shut it down...but we fought and gave it a a good run. In the end, we didn't make enough plays."
Houston's rally took a hit when Randy Bullock pushed a 37-yard field goal attempt wide right on the second play of the fourth quarter.
The Colts had a chance to put Houston away, but a miscommunication between Luck and his center paved the way for Watt's second defensive TD of the year.
A promising Texans drive ended when Johnson lost the ball at the Indianapolis 40-yard line, and immediately after the two-minute warning, linebacker Bjoern Werner strip-sacked Fitzpatrick to seal the outcome.
"We weathered a storm," Luck said. "To get this victory on the road against a darn good football team and a darn good defense is huge."
The Colts did whatever they wanted in a lopsided first quarter that saw them outgain the Texans by a laughable 218-2 margin.
Hilton's over-the-shoulder 40-yard grab set up Adam Vinatieri's 27-yard field goal on their opening drive, and Pat McAfee pulled off a successful onside kick on the ensuing kickoff.
Hilton was ruled down at the 5-yard line after making a diving catch on the next play from scrimmage, and Trent Richardson ran it in on a toss to the right.
Bradshaw added his fifth touchdown catch of the season on a short pass in the flat, and Fleener added another one on the final play of the quarter.
Houston finally gained a first down on its next drive, and Johnson got them on the board 5:17 into the second quarter with a terrific 4-yard touchdown catch along the sideline.
An interception on a tipped Luck pass led to Foster's 12-yard TD run a little later, and Vinatieri tacked on a 34-yard field goal just before the break.
The Texans pulled within one possession with a quick-hitting drive midway through the third. Foster broke off a 34-yard run and Johnson caught a 26- yard pass down to the 2-yard line.
Foster took it in from there to make it a 27-21 game, but Hilton beat double coverage and Luck found him in the end zone for a 33-yard score with under three minutes left in the third. Hilton, however, was stopped short of the goal line on a two-point conversion try.Game Notes
The Colts have won 10 straight games against division foes and four straight
meetings against the Texans ... Indianapolis has also won 10 straight games on
Thursdays ... Vinatieri became the first player in NFL history to amass 900
points with two different teams ... Johnson became the 15th player in NFL
history to reach 13,000 receiving yards ... The Colts are 3-for-3 on onside
kicks this year. No other team in the league has been successful on an onside
kickoff ... Foster has 50 rushing touchdowns in his career ... Watt also
recorded two sacks.