Charlie Johnson is active for this game, so I suppose that’s some good news.
- Huzzah! The Texans get the ball first, but my enthusiasm is short lived. The Texans converted a key third and 1 early, but never faced another third down the rest of drive. The Texans convert a 79 yard TD drive that takes up 6: 30. 7-0 Texans. There’s a reason I thought they’d win today.
- The Colts pick up a first down, but the drives stalls as Diem gives up a huge sack on third down. Ironically, I was chatting with Demond at that precise moment that this game feels like a 20 point loss and that Manning was about to get sacked. Let’s hope I’m only half right.
- Dwight Freeney matters, people. This team is dead on its feet, and the rout is on. The Texans never even get forced into a third down. Schaub is 8 for 8. 14-0 Texans. This game isn’t going to get better any time soon. There are just too many missing/banged up parts to beat a good and desperate team at home. The offense desperately needs an answer and fast.
- The offense starts inside the 20 after a lackluster return by Simpson. The offense moved the ball effectively to end the quarter, but face a 1st and 20 after Collie picks up a stupid holding penalty. The quarter ends with the Colts trailing 14-0. Not much has gone right. Things have to turn around and fast. Forcing a third down would be a start.
- Manning throws a horrible pick as he’s hit as he throws. Texans ball deep in Colts territory. The Colts can’t protect Manning at all. There’s not going to be any comeback today.
- The Colts dodge a bullet of sorts as Johnson drops a pass in the end zone. The D finally forces a third down, and a Houston false start helps kill the drive. Field goal is good 17-0. I suppose that’s reason for hope.
- The Colts start at the 25 desperately looking to get something going. The Horse drives quickly into scoring position, helped by a personal foul on the Texans. Addai has a couple of nice runs and a nice catch, and Frenchy makes an incredible catch on third down to get the Colts back on the board. The Texans lead 17-7, but the defense will have to actually start forcing third downs before I get too excited. Still, that was a huge drive, and there is plenty of time.
- The Texans start at the 20, as the defense desperately seeks a stop of any kind. They don’t get it. They don’t even force a third down until the Texans had already taken the ball inside the 15 yard line. The Texans drive finally stalls as Johnson and Schaub miscommunicate. Brown nails the field goal, and the Colts have a minute to work with. They also get the ball to start the second half, so a field goal here would loom large. All you need to know about the defense this half is 4 Texans drives, 2 TDs, 2 FGs, only 3 third downs. Awful.
- The Colts are a mess right now. Collie screws up royally by not getting out of bounds. Manning then throws a pick as he and Wayne screw up the route. 20-7 Texans.
What do you want me to say? This team is playing horrible on both sides of the ball. Can the Colts score a TD to start the second half? Sure. That would make it a one score game. Can the Defense get the Texans off the field? I doubt it.
- Geeze, the Colts catch a HUGE break as Garcon picks up a PI on the Texans call on a deep ball. The dicey 43 yard penalty gave the Colts the ball on the 19. They got first and goal inside the 10, and another PI call gave the Colts first and goal at the one. On third down from the four (after Addai gets killed on second down), Manning hits Wayne for a score. It’s 20-14 Colts, and if the defense can find any kind of life, we might just have a game. That was a weird drive.
- The Texans pick up a huge special teams penalty off the kick off that starts them deep in their own territory.
- WOOOOOOW! Schaub throws an AN AWFUL PICK. Bethea makes an incredible spinning pick, and the Colts have the ball with a chance to take the lead. I’m dumbfounded. That was a horrible play for the Texans, and an incredible catch by Bethea. The Texans were moving the ball easily on the Colts, but that was a massive turnover.
- The Colts complete a pass, but Brown and CJ screw up blocking Mario Williams, and Manning takes a huge sack on first down. The Colts have no chance to pick up another first down. For everyone who thinks we were overplaying the value of Addai’s blocking and wondering why Brown doesn’t play more…you have your answer. The only good news is that McAfee CRUSHES the kick. Texans’ ball at the 10.
- The Texans have fear in their eyes. A near safety, a short run, a false start and a give up screen add up for a punt. Wow. This game has turned 100%. What’s really creepy is how Schaub had ALL DAY to throw on third down and gave up. I think that last pick is in his head. Again, the offense will have the ball at the 35 with a chance to take the lead. Even a field goal here would be a huge step forward.
- Manning hits Clark for what looked like a sure first down, but after a terrible spot, the Colts were forced to go for it on fourth and inches. Addai makes an incredible run for the first down to keep the chains moving. DeVan picks up a hold a couple of plays later, however, and it would have killed the drive, but Manning hits Frenchy who takes a HUGE hit, but hangs on for a first down. Garcon has been incredible for two weeks now. The quarter ends with the Colts scratching the Texans 25 yard line. This has been a huge drive. 20-14 Houston at the end of three.
- The drive stalls. A dead run, and two incomplete passes end the drive as Manning misses Collie on third down. Stover yanks the kick. No score. 20-14 it stays.
- The defense holds again. After a quick Texans first down, they effectively swarm the Texans into a punt thanks to a nice blitz on third down. Rushing fields a punt inside the 10, and Indy has to go 90 yards to take the lead. The missed FG looms large as the clock winds down near 10 minutes to play.
- COLTS LEAD! MVPEYTON. Manning drives the Horse 90 yards in what felt like 10 seconds. Incredible deep ball to Collie, and nice running by Brown and Addai, and the drive is capped off by a TD pass to Clark. Incredible. I’m speechless.
- CLINT SESSION TO THE HOUSE! Unbelievable. 28-20 Horse. This team is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. There are no words.
- ROBERT MATHIS! STRIP SACK! COLTS BALL! COLTS BALL! It’s time to just run the ball and end this game.
- CHAD SIMPSON FOR 6! The Texans have quit folks. 100% quit. I’d fire Kubiak tomorrow. This was embarrassing.
- The Texans take a year and a day to finally get back in the endzone. They’ll have an onside kick with :18 seconds and one timeout remaining
- Tamme smacks the ball out of bounds on the onside kick. Indy ball. Game over.
Let me just end this live blog by saying how stunned I am. I’ve seen lots of comebacks by the Colts, but this…this was unreal because of how badly they played in the first half. Last year’s Houston comeback was afluky kind of win, with two Texans turnovers making all the difference. This was something else entirely. The defense, which could not have played worse in the first half, took over the game in the second half, with the big players (Bethea, Session, Mathis) making big plays. Did I think it was possible. No. It’s not that I didn’t believe in the offense, I just couldn’t accept the defense could turn it around without Freeney.
How wrong I was.