It was another chapter in the epic history between these two teams and it ended in a way no one saw coming.
Following the 20-20 tie were feelings that were hard to describe. Like you weren't getting an IRS refund check but you didn't owe any extra cash either.
Yes, the Texans were up 17 (we'll get to that in a moment), a lead they saw evaporate. But they hung on against a squad that many had pegged as the division winner if not a Super Bowl contender.
In the end Lovie Smith elected to get something positive out of the day rather than give the Colts a golden opportunity to win it.
It's important to point out that despite lofty numbers for Jonathan Taylor and Matt Ryan, the Texans were dealing on defense for most of the afternoon.
'Lovie Ball' was in full force as the Texans got two takeaways, including a Jerry Hughes interception that sparked a TD drive. Another scoring drive started after a Christian Kirksey recovery of a fumbled snap.
Davis Mills capped both touchdown drives with TD passes to O.J. Howard, the new guy at tight end. NRG Stadium was rocking.
After the Texans elected to punt, early in the 4th, instead of trying a 54-yard-field goal, the Colts sparked a bend-but-not-break field goal drive in the fourth to cut the lead to 14.
Then, a football-disaster struck. A sack-fumble gave Indy the ball at the Houston 20. Moments later they were in the end zone and everything changed. The Texans struggled to move the ball in their last five possessions of the contest. The Colts tied the game with an 80-yard, seven play drive but neither team could score after that.
In overtime, with a fourth down and three at the Indy 49-yard-line with 26 seconds left, Houston punted, 'taking' the tie. It was a way to avoid the loss and end up with a positive going into week two.
Both teams feel like they should have won. Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 42-yard field goal for the victory in OT but those are hardly 'gimmes.' Houston won the turnover battle but the cough-up at the 20 was highly damaging.
The 17-point lead was notable. The Texans were up 17 in the Rosencopter game in '08 and the following year when they lost those games. They also led by 17 in 2010 and hung on. Today they lost the lead but didn't lose the game.
There were plenty of plusses and there's plenty to work on. After the day was done no one could say the Texans aren't better than last year. They've improved mightily. They'll look to take another step forward next week.
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