You wouldn't know it by looking at the final score but for almost the entire first half, the Texans were right there with AFC South nemesis Indianapolis, needing a spark on offense to get themselves going.
It never happened. The defense hung in there but ultimately, the lack of scoring and time of possession tilted the game in the Colts' favor and the Texans suffered their second shutout loss of the campaign.
The day started in the worst way possible, with a Tyrod Taylor pick on the first play from scrimmage at the Houston 29. Moments later, the Colts were in the end zone on the first of two Jonathan Taylor touchdown runs.
The Texans held him relatively in check in the first half, as the league's leading rusher was averaging 3.5 yards per carry. But by the end of the game, that swelled to a 4.5 yards-per-carry clip as he totaled 143 yards. The Colts carried the ball a whopping 48 times, averaging 5 yards per clip.
But that doesn't tell the whole story. Houston only had the ball for 46 plays and had a collective quarterback rating of 35.1. There were only 11 Texans completions in the game. The defense was able to play bend-but-not break for most of the first half but it couldn't last.
Tyrod Taylor left the game in the third quarter as Davis Mills appeared for the first time since Halloween. Mills couldn't get into rhythm, going 6-for-14 for 49 yards. The Texans offensive output for the afternoon was 141 net yards. Houston had the ball for under 19 minutes.
Kamu Grugier-Hill racked up 19 tackles, a new team record. He also had a sack. Christian Kirksey, coming back from a three-game absence, posted seven tackles and a fumble recovery, forced by Kevin Pierre-Louis. The loss drops the Texans to 2-10 and 2-2 in the division, with five games left including two AFC South matchups.
The theme of not being able to generate enough offense and that causing stress on the defense was a familiar one for 2021. The Texans were able to run for 84 yards as a squad and couldn't add to the total due to going 3-for-12 on third down.
Next up is Seattle. This is a team Houston is only seeing for the fifth time in franchise history. They're hardly having the season they envisioned with a losing record coming in. But the Texans have plenty to correct on their side of things before you even consider the opponent.
It's getting later in the season and Houston is running out of opportunities to make more positive things happen heading into the offseason. Three more home games remain, plus dates at Jacksonville and San Francisco.
See the Texans host the Seahawks on December 12 at NRG Stadium in Week 14.Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets
Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Week 13 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.