The longest active win streak in the NFL and the longest win streak in Houston Texans history ended on Sunday, as the Texans lost at home to the Indianapolis Colts, 24-21.
Despite the loss to an AFC South rival, the Texans still have a two-game lead in the division standings over the Colts and Tennessee Titans, who won on Thursday night. But a win would have pulled them ahead of the New England Patriots in the AFC playoff picture – the Patriots lost on a miracle play in Miami, falling to 9-4. Because New England, currently seeded No. 2, owns the head-to-head advantage over Houston thanks to its win in the season opener, the Texans have to finish with a better record than the Patriots to overtake them.
Colts take control in second quarter
The Colts took control of the game in the second quarter. Houston got a touchdown in the opening quarter, but Indianapolis scored three times in the second to take a 17-7 lead at halftime, and the Texans were never able to overcome the 10-point deficit.
Getting just two first downs in the second quarter didn’t help.
The Colts played a role in that: Defensive players said after the game they focused on stopping the run (Houston had 89 yards on 25 carries) and confusing Deshaun Watson with different blitzes. It worked – Watson was sacked five times and hit seven.
“It was tough,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said of the Colts taking away their ground game. “They did a great job stopping the run. We were not able to get it going at all.”
Houston had averaged 202 rushing yards over its previous three games.
Jadeveon Clowney penalty hurts Texans
While the Texans didn’t play well for large stretches, a play by Pro Bowler Jadeveon Clowney at the end of the game didn’t help.
On the first play after the two-minute warning, the Colts were facing third-and-1 near midfield. Clowney was flagged for a neutral zone infraction, giving Indianapolis first down. Since Houston was out of timeouts, Andrew Luck was able to kneel out the clock and seal the victory.
Clowney did not speak to reporters after the loss, despite media pursuing him through the locker room.
T.Y. Hilton has huge game
Luck very nearly had the fourth 400-yard passing game of his career, going 27 for 41 for 399 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Half of his passing yards went to known Texans killer T.Y. Hilton. Hilton finished with 199 yards on nine catches, the seventh 100-yard performance he’s had in 14 career games against Houston.
“When T.Y.’s in the zone, he’s in the zone, man,” Luck said. “It’s an honor to play with him. And I really mean that.”
Hilton had 223 yards on nine receptions in Houston in 2014, his career-best in a regular-season game. The veteran had 224 receiving yards in the playoffs against Kansas City in the 2013 playoffs.
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