Houston fell behind early as Andrew Luck and the Colts got off to a 24-0 lead to start the game. After a lopsided first quarter, the Texans rallied back and outscored the Colts 28-9 with a pair of touchdown from Arian Foster and Andre Johnson's first of the season. J.J. Watt scored on a fourth-quarter fumble recovery but two late turnovers kept the Texans from taking over first place in the AFC South.
"I believe the team was ready to play," head coach Bill O'Brien said after the game. "I know how it started out there, we were ready to play. They played better. We couldn't get a first down. Our defense was on the field too much. They made some plays. We fought back to get in the game. We let them get ahead too much, 24 to nothing is hard to overcome. Our guys were energetic the whole night, they're into it, we've got a bunch of good guys in there, we've got a bunch of guys who fight, tough guys who've played a lot of football in this league, a lot of veterans so everybody was ready to play. Maybe it didn't look that way, but they fought back to get in the game."
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 15-of-23 for 212 yards and one touchdown. Andrew Luck threw three touchdowns, completed 25-of-44 for 370 yards and one interception. Foster ran for 109 yards and two scores while Andre Johnson led the receivers with seven catches for 99 yards and one touchdown.
The Texans struggled on both sides of the ball to start the game. Houston's offense went three-and-out the entire first quarter and Indianapolis gained an extra possession following an early onside kick.
After a quick three-and-out by Houston, Luck and the Colts came out firing, scoring on back-to-back drives to gain an early 10-0 lead. After Adam Viniateri's 29-yard field goal, Colts punter Pat successfully recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. The Colts would find the endzone two plays later. Luck completed a 49-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton and Trent Richardson scored on a 5-yard touchdown run immediately after.
"We have to start faster," Duane Brown said. "We keep coming out slow and for every game that we come out slow our record indicates that it is tough for us to win. Our offense has to get going. Defense has been playing well all year. We know that they are going to make plays for us. You have a great offense in Indianapolis and Luck is a heck of a player. They are going to put up points. We have to answer. We can't start off slow, we can't force ourselves to try to come back like that for consecutive weeks. We just have to get going. Whatever it takes everyone is going to have to look at each other and as we look at ourselves individually we will see what happens."
Luck threw two more touchdown passes in the first quarter to Ahmad Bradshaw and Coby Fleener. Houston spiraled into a 24-0 hole by the end of the first quarter.
Houston didn't stay down for long, answering back with two touchdowns, the second after an interception by the Texans defense.
Andre Johnson caught his first touchdown of the season on a 4-yard pass from Fitzpatrick. The Texans drive was extended by a Colts penalty. Bullock's field goal but it was nullified on an illegal formation penalty on the Colts. Houston's offense returned to the field and two plays later, Houston scored its first points of the game. Indianapolis led 24-7 in the second quarter after an 11-play, 80-yard drive.
The Colts next drive was cut short when Justin Tuggle picked off Luck's pass intended for Reggie Wayne. Tuggle's 8-yard return gave the Texans possession at the Colts 26-yard line. Foster's 12-yard run capped off a quick, 3-play drive. Houston moved within two scores, down 24-14 in the second quarter.
Houston held the Colts to just a field goal in the second quarter. Viniateri added his second of day, a 34-yarder. The score at halftime was Indianapolis 27, Houston 14.
Arian Foster added his second touchdown of the night on a two-yard run to put the Texans within one score with 5:59 left in the third quarter.
Indianapolis answered back with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Luck to Hilton but failed on the two-point conversion. The Colts regained a 33-21 lead with 2:52 left in the third quarter.
Watt found the endzone for his third time this season after recovering a fumble by Luck. Watt returned it 45 yards for the score. Houston seemed to be gaining momentum but committed fumbles on their next two possessions by Andre Johnson and Fitzpatrick. Indianapolis ran out the clock following the Fitzpatrick sack and fumble.
"Emotions are frustrated, but optimistic," Watt said. "I think if you give a team a 24 point lead like that, it'd be pretty easy to shut it down. And, say OK, it's a tough loss, but we fought. We gave it a good shot, a good run. But in the end, we didn't make enough plays. Here we sit at 3-3, and we got a little bit of a long weekend here to get our bodies back and get our minds back. We get to come back out on Monday Night Football and an opportunity to play against a good team on national television again. I think it is a tough loss. It is frustrating. But, I really don't think that it's, it's definitely not time to panic."
Houston dropped to 3-3 on the season with the loss and will travel to Pittsburgh in Week 7 on Monday, October 20.