Quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell predicted a big game for Andre Johnson against Indianapolis. The veteran wide receiver had a brief conversation with Dorrell just hours before kickoff.
"When I as leaving the hotel on Sunday, he (Dorrell) said, 'Don't be surprised if you get three touchdowns," Johnson recalled on the Texans Verizon Players show on Tuesday.
Johnson was surprised. After all, it had been a while since he'd found the end zone. His three-touchdown, 229-yard performance ended a scoring drought that dated back to December 16, 2012, coincidentally, the last time the Colts played in Reliant Stadium.
Johnson received the first fifteen scripted plays the night before the game, but what transpired before each of his scores was highlight-reel worthy.
On Johnson's first scoring play, a 62-yard catch from Case Keenum, he said he did some acting to get open. According to Johnson, defensive backs can often guess when a receiver is going to turn and head back towards the quarterback on a comeback route.
"We run a lot of comebacks," Johnson said. "So my biggest thing was to make him believe that I was running that comeback route. A lot of times DBs tell you they know. When you come off really fast and fighting while you are running, they know you are eventually going to stop. I just tried to do everything I could to make him believe that I was running the comeback route and he bit all over it and I was wide open."
Later in the first quarter, Johnson was waiting deep and covered by Colts safety Antoine Bethea. He would beat his coverage to come down with a pass from Keenum for the Texans' second touchdown of the night.
"I wasn't surprised that it got to me, I was surprised he threw it," Johnson said. "Normally, when we are in that situation, the quarterback wouldn't throw the ball but I think Case just throws it differently, like 'I like my guy better than that guy.' He just gave me a chance and I was able to go get it."
Keenum displayed some acting skills too. With less than one minute remaining in the first half, Keenum ran 22 yards up the middle of the field. With the clock ticking down, Keenum signaled as if he would be lining up to spike the ball. Instead, he threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Johnson who was waiting for it.
"He was going to spike the ball to kill the clock," Johnson. "We have a signal that we give but it's up to him to choose to throw the ball or not. I gave him the signal and he gave me a little nod and so I knew it was coming."
As for Dorrell's prediction before the game, Johnson's response was simple.
"When he told me, I kind of laughed it off," Johnson said.