71,891 people packed NRG Stadium Sunday night, but by the time Nick Novak’s 33 yard field sailed through the uprights in overtime sealing the Texans 26-23 win over the Indianapolis Colts many of them had left and it didn’t go unnoticed.
“For all the fans who left, I hope their brisket turned out ok, they had to go home and check it,” Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork said.
It shouldn’t be a big surprise the building cleared out. The Texans trailed most of the night and before Lamar Miller’s 10-yard touchdown catch with 2:37 left, they trailed by two touchdowns. After forcing the Colts to go 3-and-out, it took Brock Osweiler three plays to put the ball in the endzone, finding C.J. Fedorowicz for a 26-yard score.
“Looking up in the stands and watching everyone leaving, I was like ‘man, don’t quit’, there’s six minutes or something left on the clock, let’s keep playing and see what happens,” Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said.
Clowney and the defense kept the Colts from scoring, forcing overtime where the Colts got the ball first. Again, they had to punt, giving the Osweiler and the Texans a chance to win the game. On the fifth play of the drive, with the ball at the Indianapols 48-yard line, the Texans quarterback lobbed a pass up to Jaelen Strong down the left sideline. The second-year receiver hauled it in, and after Osweiler took a knee on the right hash, Novak was sent in to finish the comeback win.
“A lot of fans tonight missed a terrific performance,” Osweiler said. “I understand why fans were frustrated, but I hope they learned tonight that this team is never gonna quit fighting.”
Still, for the players in the locker room it was tough to see all the empty red and blue seats inside NRG Stadium.
“It sucks, but it is what it is,” Wilfork said. “At the end of the day we play for the guys that are in (the locker room) and the true fans, so to look up in the fourth quarter and still have a shot in the game and see half of the stadium empty it was surprising. I never encourntered that before.”
Texans fans will have a chance to make up for the slight in two weeks when the Lions come to town.