Indianapolis Colts 28 vs Houston Texans 16
TD C.Fleener 1 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (13-75, 7:09)
FG S.Graham 51 yd. Field Goal (14-48, 7:45)
FG S.Graham 37 yd. Field Goal (5-44, 2:28)
TD V.Ballard 1 yd. run (A.Vinatieri kick) (6-39, 2:05)
TD A.Foster 13 yd. run (S.Graham kick) (12-84, 5:35)
FG S.Graham 37 yd. Field Goal (7-55, 2:28)
TD D.Karim 101 yd. kickoff return (A.Vinatieri kick) (0-0, 0:12)
TD T.Hilton 70 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (3-57, 1:51)
What the Colts did Right
The Colts led literelly every second of the game. They were not in the lead for 9 seconds.
For the third game in a row, Andrew Luck had an interception free game, with very few forced throws. He stood in the pocket and made some great throws. He also had a couple of drives that were perfectly orchestrated. That could be because of the good play calling by Arians, but Luck also had a big part in that. Some of the throws he made were just fantastic. That throw to TY for the TD! Are you kidding me? I can name you 5 quarterbacks that could make that throw in triple coverage. He also did a great job of drawing the Texans offsides. He was definitely ready for this game, and that's good to see.
Although he didn't look great on paper, Vick Ballard had another nice game. He had some nice runs and considering the poor run blocking, he did pretty well. He was patient (as he has been all year), and got a couple of good ones off.
The Colts got 2 good performances from Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton. Hilton had a very good game, in which he caught everything thrown his way and made some plays. He should have had 2 touchdowns, but that 80 yarder was beautiful. Reggie Wayne didn't have as good a game as TY, but he made some big catches, and had another big one taken back.
The O-line actually had a pretty good day overall considering their opponents. Anthony Castonzo, excluding 1 penalty call, allowed only 1 hurry to Connor Barwin, a solid pass rusher. Whitney Mercelius was shut down completely by Winston Justice in the passing game and the running game. Great to have him back. AQ Shipley played very well. He did a good job in the passing game, provided extra help in double teams and picking up blitzes well. Mike McGlynn was better, but not great.
The offensive gameplan was great. The Colts were able to have a balanced attack, and because of that, they handily beat, yes handily beat, the Houston Texans, a team once deemed the best in the NFL. Believe it or not, but Ballard ran the ball 27 times. It seems that when the Colts find balance, that's when they do the best. That's also the case with many teams in the NFL. Balance is key.
Now, the defense.
That whole D-line, who were comprised of backups, did an admirable job. They went up against 2 Pro Bowlers in the interior of the Texans' O-line, and I say they got the better of them. Larry "the Cable" Guy had a great game. He was able to get penetration in the running game, and laid a HUGE hit on Schaub. Ricardo Matthews did a great job in the running game. It's summed up in one play, where his helmet comes off, but he still tackles Foster for a loss. Great determination from these guys.
The linebackers, especially Freeman, played extremely well. WIth the exception of Mathis, all had impacts. Freeney had a sack, and Angerer made some nice tackles. Freeman, was just a beast. He showed great speed, and made almost all his tackles on Foster. Freeman looked really good; a great way to end his season. He finished in 5th in tackles. Not too shabby for his first full season in the NFL.
The secondary had some good performances. Cassius Vaughn had a tackling performance for the ages, when it comes to cornerbacks. He had 10 tackles, which included open field tackles on Foster, and Andre Johnson. He hit them low and took them out with one shot. That's how you hit bigger guys. Vontae Davis had an amazing day. He made 2 huge interceptions and had a great 2nd half, stopping Andre Johnson when he matched up against him. Antoine Bethea had some nice tackles too, and did a fantastic job in coverage.
The defensive game plan was perfect. For starters, they held them to only 16 points. With this offense, that will win you at least 12 games. They were able to stop Foster for the most part. Besides a 40 yard run, Foster has a below average day, which is good. Matt Schaub had several good throws, but the Colts were able to take advantage of his mistakes, which is good.
Great job by the special teams. Pat had a good day, but more importantly, the Colts got a kickoff return for a touchdown. On that play, it was the blocking that was phenomenal. Karim did a nice job finding the hole, but it was the return team that did a lot of the work. Special teams has gotten a lot better on the Colts.
All in all, a great performance, and one of the best of the season.
What the Colts did Wrong
The Colts made a few mistakes, but not many.
Andrew Luck holds on to the ball too long. This game it really showed. It could be because of pride, or something, but he needs to either take the sack, or get rid of the ball. His decision making and his accuracy could be a bit better. He still forces some throws, but it's getting better.
The pass blocking still wasn't great. However, it was better than usual and it deserved to go in the "did right" part. The pocket collapsed a lot, and Luck seemed to have a hand on him a lot of the time. Joe Reitz didn't have a very good game. He was beat badly by Antonio Smith and Shaun Cody did well against him too. He has not had a good season. The run blocking was not good either. Although Ballard made the best out of a bad situation, no one could block. He was stuffed almost immediately a lot of the time.
On defense, Robert Mathis was completely shut down and had absolutely no impact. It was a really bad week. Antoine Bethea missed some tackles, but all in all he was pretty good. Joe Lefeged allowed some pretty big plays to Andre Johnson. He needs to get better overall. There were obviously a few plays that weren't good, but all in all, not too many bad performances.
The pass defense alllowed a lot of first downs in the first half. Some of them came on big third downs. Vontae Davis fell on one of them and Posey made the easy catch. Schaub rolled out and made a throw to Walter. If given time, QBs will pick this defense apart. The pressure needs to be there. The pressure was inconsistent last game.
There were a lot of good performances against the Texans, but there was one player that had a bigger impact than the others. That player is Vontae Davis. He had two big interceptons that halted two fast charging Texans drives. He also had a fantastic 2nd half that included great tight coverage and great tackles. Great way to end the season!