HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans were not without story lines in their 27-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. Former Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson caught two touchdowns on the field he played on for 12 seasons to help spark the Colts to their third straight win against a division opponent.
Mid-way through the second quarter Ryan Mallett was pulled from the game after a big hit to his chest, and although he appeared fine, head coach Bill O’Brien decided to leave Brian Hoyer in the game. Hoyer through two touchdown passes to rookie wideout Jaelen Strong, but a pick late in the game sealed the Texans fate.
The Texans committed 13 penalties on the day for 125 yards, many of them keeping drives for the Colts alive on third down.
And while DeAndre Hopkins caught 11 passes for 169 yards, it was not enough for the Texans to overcome their faults against their division rival.
The Texans first drive was a steady diet of rushing led by Arian Foster in his second game back. Four carries by the returning back along with a couple of receptions led the team down the field.
On a third and five play in the red zone Ryan Mallett’s pass went through Foster’s hands right into Colts defensive back Mike Adams’ hands which led to a Colts return to mid-field. The Colts would end the drive with a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Foster would end the night with 19 carries for 41 yards and nine catches for 77 yards for the offense.
Later in the quarter Andre Johnson would make his presence known in his return to Houston. A big catch set the Colts up in the red zone and Johnson would be wide open when Hasselbeck found him for the score. The Texans would trail 10-0 with just over one minute left in the first quarter.
The Texans would extend a Colts drive thanks to a J.J. Watt roughing the passer penalty but force the a field goal as the Colts would take a 13-0 lead after Adam Venatari’s second field goal.
Ryan Mallett would leave the game after a hard hit that was called roughing the passer. Brian Hoyer would take over and lead the Texans down the field completing four of five passes for 39 yards. The Texans would settle for a field goal to make it 13-3 Colts with just over two minutes left in the half.
The Texans would stop the Colts and use their timeouts to take over on their own four. Brian Hoyer would come back in as the team’s quarterback. Two completions to Polk and DeAndre Hopkins as well as a Colts penalty set the Texans up just past mid-field.
With time expiring Hoyer completed a hail mary touchdown pass to Jaelen Strong to cut the Colts lead. The Texans would trail 13-10 at halftime. It was Strong’s first NFL catch.
The momentum would swing right back to the Colts. A big kickoff return would start the Colts drive and end with a Frank Gore rushing touchdown to make it 20-10 Colts.
The Texans would answer as DeAndre Hopkins torched the Colts secondary for multiple big gains setting up a Hoyer touchdown pass once again to Jaelen Strong. This one an 11-yard strike to cut the Colts lead to 20-17.
The Colts would answer with an extended drive. Frank Gore would help lead Indianapolis deep into Texans territory. An interception on third and nine was erased thanks to a defensive holding giving the Colts a fresh set of downs. They would get another first down thanks to Kareem Jackson who committed pass interference in the end zone. The Colts would score three plays later as Hasselbeck found Andre Johnson for a score. With just over ten minutes left in the fourth the Texans trailed 27-17.
The Texans offense would drive down the field led by a big Arian Foster run but would settle for a 49-yard Nick Novak field goal to again cut the Colts lead to seven 27-20.
After a Colts punt, the Texans would take over on their 36-yard line with over three minutes and all their timeouts left. A big play by Hopkins and Foster would have the Texans in Colts territory. Hoyer would then throw a pass as he was getting hit which would land in the hands of the Colts defense.
J.J. Watt finished with only two tackles on the night for the Texans defense.