Houston Texans end opener vs. Indianapolis Colts with a tie that felt like a loss

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The Houston Texans, we have been saying, might be a little spicier this season than expected. Though nobody expects Lovie Smith’s team to take the AFC South over the Indianapolis Colts or the Tennessee Titans, this Texans team is finally out of the Bill O’Brien era from a draft pick perspective, and they’ve done well to spackle over all the personnel mistakes O’Brien made when he was calling the shots.

This seemed to manifest itself early on in Houston’s Week 1 game against Indianapolis; the Texans had a 20-3 lead in the third quarter after Davis Mills hit tight end O.J. Howard with Howard’s second touchdown of the day.

However, Houston’s young defense then allowed the Colts to score 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, and that process ended with Matt Ryan’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr. with 1:54 left in the game.

And then in overtime, nobody scored. Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 43-yard field goal with two minutes left in the fifth quarter, and the Texans took over at their own 32-yard line. They advanced all the way to the Colts’ 47-yard line, and then, on third-and-1 from the Indianapolis 47 with 40 seconds left, the decision was to give the ball to running back Rex Burkhead. The veteran lost two yards on the play, while preseason stud back Dameon Pierce, who had bullied the NFL to date, was not apparently an option.

Then, on fourth-and-3 from the Indy 49 and 26 seconds left, Smith made the call to punt for a tie. Which worked in the end, but the sequence of events didn’t make a ton of sense.

In his postgame presser, Smith bemoaned the lack of ability to close, and missed opportunities. We’ve got at least one missed opportunity that’s on you, Coach.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire