Brown and Moala are both inactive today. DeVan is playing over Pollack. All accounts are that the roof will be open. Barf.
- The Colts win the toss, and take the ball. Manning hits his first 5 passes in a row, but two passes to Collie fall incomplete (the second on third down was a flat drop). The Colts were going for the gutless punt on 4th and 6 from the 37, when the Texans jumped offsides. On fourth down, Manning threw a terrible ball to an open Addai. Texans start at the 31. Simply a terrible toss by #18. Addai wasn’t super open, but the ball carried too far out of bounds. Demond says Wayne was covered deep, and Clark may have been open.
- The D comes out strong. Freeny picks up the coverage sack to start the game. Jennings hits Johnson for little gain. On third and long, Powers saves a TD (so says Demond at the game) by tripping up Slaton on a screen. The result is three and out for the Texans and Indy’s ball.
- Manning is just picking them apart. He’s dumping short on every throw, and the addition of Addai out in patterns is making all the difference. 79 yard drive ends with Manning hitting Kid Joe on 3rd and 4 for a 7 yard score. 7-0 Colts. Manning might have 60 attempts today.
- POWERS WITH THE PICK. He couldn’t be playing better. Colts ball at midfield.
- Manning hits Garcon with a huge pass for 26 yards, and then he gets the Texans to jump offsides on consecutive plays. It set the Colts up with first and goal from the 4, but a negative run (LB untouched up the middle), a drop? on a pass behind Addai, and a one yard screen pass to Wayne (Collie had OPI on the play but was waived off). Field goal gives the Colts a 10-0 lead. This reminds me of the game in Houston last year where the Colts dominated early, but the Texans scored a bunch of points in the middle of the game.
- We see the first vestiges of slipping from the kick coverage team as Cody Glenn (formerly of the practice squad until this week) picks up a 15 yard penalty on the coverage. The D more than holds its own. Two runs, a false start (thanks crowd noise!) and Freeney forces a third down scramble. That’s two three and outs and a pick for the Colts D. Can’t ask for more than that.
- Colts are driving to end the quarter. 26 passes, 5 runs. And the offense is moving the ball with ease. So there you go.
- The Texans help the Colts with a couple of bad penalties, but the drive eventually stalls, and the Colts settle for 3. Colts 13-0. The lack of a real run game may be starting to catch up to Indy in the redzone. The team just isn’t converting in close the way the did early in the year. Manning can’t be happy with that.
- Glenn atones for his earlier penalty with a HUGE stick inside the 20 on the kick off. Houston is (was at least before they lost Owens) a good offensive team. Well, at least they could pass. Today, they can’t do anything. Freeney and Mathis sack Schaub on 3rd down, and the Texans punt AGAIN. Incredible performance by one of the best defenses in football. It’s time to get a touch down and put this game away.
- The Colts drive stalls as Addai is swarmed under on third and 1 from the 40. He got hit 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. He had no chance to even make a move. This team can’t run block even a little bit. Not even a little. They punt on fourth and four.
- The Texans go to the ground game and generate some first downs, and Johnson helps them out with a facemask penalty. It takes them just four plays to get past where the Colts punted from. The Texans get down inside the 35, and go for it on fourth and 1, by throwing to Andre Johnson. The Texans drive down near the goal line, but Moats fumbles. Jerraud Powers makes a crazy smart play to reestablish himself in bounds. After review, the ball is ruled to be a fumble, recovered in the endzone. Colts ball. Wow. Houston was threatening to get back in the game, but the turnover saves the 13 point lead.
- The Colts get bailed out after three straight incomplete passes to Clark. Dallas gets popped on third down and drops the ball. The Texan is called for a personal foul. Manning drives them deep into Houston territory before throwing an awful pick. The Texans run it back to midfield, and now threaten to score. They have the dreaded “two for none” working. They could have the lead before the Colts ever see the ball again.
- The D does a credible job, only allowing 12 yards. The Texans started at the 50, so it was enough for a 56 yards FG attempt. His first attempt was blocked, but the Colts called timeout first. That’s never a move that makes sense. Why let him practice? Stupid, stupid move by Caldwell. Brown hits the kick on the second attempt. 13-3 Colts.
Manning has already thrown the ball 40 times for just 6 yards a throw. That’s not a recipe for success. The defense was incredible, and Indy leads by 10, but this was a deeply frustrating half. The Colts should be up by 20 at least. They have to find a way to run the ball in the second half.
- The Colts didn’t put them away when they had the chance, and now the Texans are back in the game. The key play on the drive was Schaub escaping Mathis on third and 7 and scrambling for 19 yards. It was close to being a sack and a punt, but instead went the other way. The Texans wound up down on the goal line and scored easily. 13-10 Colts. Game on. Nightmare: continuing.
- The Texans continue to self destruct. This time a stupid personal foul after the kick off set up the Colts at the 45 yard line. The Colts don’t take advantage, however, as they elect to punt on fourth and one with a three and out. No sooner do I praise Caldwell this week, than he shows up with an AWFUL game. Tons of punts on fourth and short, a stupid decision to take the ball in the first quarter, and an inexcusable time out on the field goal attempt. He’s coached this game to lose it. Terrible job.
- A moronic blitz on 3rd and 5 gives the Texans a big play. They pass the 46 in just three plays. The Colts brought the house and didn’t come close to reaching Schaub. The Texans convert two more third and mediums on the drive. They now face third and goal from the half yard line as the third quarter ends.
- Indy has punted on 4th and 3 from the 39 and 4th and 1 from the 45. They are on the verge of trailing 17-13 (barring a miracle stop). Manning is going to need another fourth quarter comeback if the Horse hopes to pull one out today.
- Touchdown Texans. 17-13. Betcha wish you had that stupid punt back, Jim.
- WTF? Wayne throws a flanker pass which is picked off. Awful throw. What was Wayne thinking? He threw a duck. Hard to kill the call after it worked with Addai last week, but that throw was insanely bad. Indy is in serious trouble.
- HUGE stand by the D. Jennings drops a potential pick six, but the D holds in three plays. Colts survive the stupid pick, and get the ball near the 40.
- Joe Addai carries the Colts downfield and into the endzone. The Horse finally finds some running plays, and Addai delivers on third and goal from the one. He got hit in the backfield (again), but danced his way to the go ahead score. 20-17 Colts. It’s time for the D to make another stand. It’s Freeney and Mathis time!
- Another huge third down conversion for the Texans as Jennings falls down to get the drive going. A holding call and a brilliant play by Foster forced another huge third down, which Schaub converts again for 20 plus yards to Johnson. This time the blitz saves the day, however, as Brackett hits Schaub as he throws and Session picks it off. Colts ball with 2:14 to play. The Texans have 2 timeouts, so one first down will win the game.
- The O Line collapses at the wrong time. A two yard run, a false start, and a sack fumble (mercifully recovered by Diem) took the clock down to the two minute warning. Addai does his best on third and long, but Houston will get the ball with 1:40 and change and no timeouts. McAfee puts it down around the 15. The D needs to hang on one more time.
- The D plays soft, and the Texans make it out near midfield, but use a minute to do it. Schaub makes a miracle completion to avoid the sack, and the Texans pick up yet another big third down. The Texans get the ball down to the 25 with just :01 to go.
HE MISSED IT! WIDE LEFT!!
WIDE LEFT!!! HE MISSED IT!