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3rd-and-Stuffed: Defensive unit comes up big on third downs | Week 18


When the Texans forced the Colts offense into a third down situation, the defense locked down. And they did so all night long inside Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night.

Indianapolis was held to just one third down conversion in the entirety of a 23-19 loss to Houston. 

"Defense stood up and guys did an outstanding job on third down," Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said. "To hold a team to one conversion on third down, that's winning football. When we needed to make plays, we made plays."

The Texans defense held the Colts to 1 for 11 on third down conversions in the victory. 

"I thought third down was great," Texans linebacker Blake Cashman said. "We were getting pressure. Our pass rush and coverage was matching. When you can win third down, you're usually in a good spot to win a football game." 

In the first half, the Colts were forced to punt on four of their six drives and settled for field goal attempts on the other two after failing to convert on third down. 

The defensive success continued in the second half as on the second and third drives of the half for the Colts they were held to field goal attempts, which one banged off the left upright and was no good. 

On the Colts final drive, they were stuffed on third and fourth down to turn the ball over on downs with 1:06 left in the game. 

Again, crucial stops by the defense -- a cohesive unit.

"Our defensive line is great, our linebackers our great, corners are great, our defense does a good job at being complementary," Texans safety Jalen Pitre said. "We know how to play off each other."

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