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Texans fall to Colts 30-24


Defensive tackle Cedric Killings was carted off the field in the first half with a neck injury. He is currently being treated at a local hospital.

Overcoming the defending Super Bowl champs is tough enough by itself.

Add numerous injuries to several key players, as well as two costly giveaways, and the feat is nearly impossible.

Without Pro Bowler Andre Johnson (left knee) and running back Ron Dayne (chest) to begin the game, the Texans also lost running back Ahman Green (knee), defensive tackle Cedric Killings (neck), wide receiver Jacoby Jones (shoulder) and center Steve McKinney (knee) to injuries at various points in the contest (Click here for more on Killings' status).

The result was a 30-24 defeat to the defending AFC South champs in front of a sell-out crowd of 70,765 fans at Reliant Stadium.

"There wasn't a lack of effort," coach Gary Kubiak said afterward. "It was a tremendous effort on everybody's part, and we paid the price for it. We're pretty beat up."

The Texans mounted an impressive comeback in the second half after trailing 27-10 with 2:41 left in the third quarter. Matt Schaub completed his final 14 passes of the game, the second-longest streak in club history, but the Colts were able to convert a first down with 2:41 remaining in the game to help seal the win.

Despite the preponderance of fallen Texans, nobody was in the mood to make excuses after the team's first loss of the season. Likewise, Kubiak didn't take solace in keeping the score close. In fact, he took blame for not getting the offense in a good flow and establishing the run. The team finished with only 40 net rushing yards.

"I'm proud of their effort, but the thing that's changed around here is that we won't take any moral victories," Kubiak said. "We're here to win and we're here to play hard and we expect good results.

"We just never got in a rhythm of running the ball. I couldn't get us in that rhythm, and that starts with me calling the plays. You've got to run the ball against this group and when you don't do that successfully, you're going to struggle. I've got to do a better job for our guys."

The Deep Steel Sunday showdown could not have begun better for the Texans. Jerome Mathis returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown after Indianapolis was penalized five yards for offsides on their first kickoff attempt.

Indianapolis responded with a 15-play, 74-yard drive over 8:33, which quarterback Peyton Manning capped with a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. Manning completed six of his seven passes on the drive for 55 yards, while running back Joseph Addai picked up 24 yards on eight carries.

The following drive, the Texans faced a third-and-three on the Indianapolis 45 when Schaub split wide left and Green received a direct snap for a two-yard gain off the right tackle. Kubiak left his offense on the field, and Schaub drew defensive lineman Raheem Brock offsides with a hard snap count to pick up five yards and a new set of downs. Three plays later, wide receiver Kevin Walter caught a 10-yard pass on third-and-three from the Colts' 31-yard line.

{QUOTE}A false start penalty at the beginning of the second quarter gave the Texans a third-and-13, where Green picked up nine yards on a screen pass. Kris Brown's 33-yard field goal put the Texans ahead 10-7 with 14:18 left in the first half.

Manning continued his strong play by completing four of his five pass attempts for 50 yards, including two third down completions for 31 total yards. Addai flipped over cornerback Demarcus Faggins on third-and-goal for a four-yard touchdown to cap the series and give the Colts a 14-10 lead after Adam Vinatieri's extra point.

The game was paused several minutes following the next kick return when Killings was carted off the field on a stretcher after injuring his neck in a collision with an Indianapolis defender.

After the break in the game, Jones' eight-yard catch and three-yard end around on the next snap gave the Texans a new set of downs on their 29-yard line. The offense moved into Indianapolis territory thanks to 21 rushing yards on five carries, including a nine-yard run by fullback Jameel Cook. But Schaub's third down pass to Samkon Gado was seven yards short of the first down at the Colts' 38-yard line, leading to a Matt Turk punt.

The Texans' offense returned to the field with 1:56 remaining before halftime, but punted after a three-and-out series. The Colts burned the remaining 28 seconds of clock to enter halftime with the lead.

To start the third quarter, tight ends Ben Utecht and Clark caught two combined passes for 46 yards through the middle of the Texans' defense to get the Colts going on the opening drive. After a 10-yard holding penalty, Indianapolis got back into scoring position thanks to Manning's nine-yard pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne that set up Vinatieri's 36-yard field goal.

Down 17-10, Schaub's pass intended for Jones was deflected high in the air on the first play from scrimmage. Linebacker Rocky Boiman dove and intercepted the pass, and was tackled at the Houston 21 after a two-yard gain. Kubiak challenged the interception ruling, but the play stood after the review, causing Houston to lose a timeout that proved to be costly.

The Colts extended their lead to 24-10 after a four-play, 21-yard drive that Addai finished with an eight-yard touchdown run off the right end.

With 5:26 left in the third quarter, the momentum appeared to swing in the Texans' favor thanks to Jones' 74-yard punt return to the Indianapolis 18. But Schaub's pass intended for Walter was picked off by linebacker Gary Brackett, who returned it 26 yards to the Colts' 29-yard line.

"We were trying to move coverage one way and come back and hit the other side (of the defense)," Schaub said. "I came back and pulled the trigger and the linebacker happened to drop underneath the pattern. I should have noticed him doing that and gotten to my third receiver. Unfortunately, I made the wrong decision and we paid for it."

A 64-yard pass play from Manning to Wayne gave Indianapolis a first down at the Texans' seven-yard line. Three plays later, after Manning was sacked by Amobi Okoye for a three-yard loss, Vinatieri's 28-yard field goal stretched the Colts' lead to 27-10.

Schaub bounced back to complete his first four passes for 72 yards on the next series, including a 41-yard completion to wide receiver André Davis to the Colts' one-yard line. Two plays later, Gado skipped into the end zone for a touchdown to cut the Indianapolis lead to 10 points with 14:21 left in the game.

Buoyed by a 47-yard kick return by T.J. Rushing, the Colts managed to move into scoring position after a seven-play, 34-yard drive. Vinatieri kicked his third field goal of the game from 35 yards to make the score 30-17 with a little more than 10 minutes remaining on the game clock.

Showing no signs of giving up, the Texans mounted an impressive 14-play, 75-yard drive, converting a fourth-and-nine on the Indianapolis 34 courtesy of a diving catch by Davis. The next play, Schaub found fullback Vonta Leach open on a play action pass for a one-yard touchdown that cut the Colts' lead to 30-24 with 2:49 left in the game after Brown's extra point.

An Indianapolis first down courtesy of Marvin Harrison's 12-yard catch allowed the Colts to run down the clock to 25 seconds before punting. By the time the Texans' offense came on the field at their 20-yard line, only 19 seconds were left in the contest. Defensive end Dwight Freeney sacked Schaub on first down, and the clock expired.

Schaub was disappointed in the loss, but his confidence isn't shaken.

"I learned about myself what we learned as a team, and that is that we're willing to fight no matter what," Schaub said.

Injury report

  • Ahman Green limped off the field in the second quarter with a left knee injury after his nine-yard reception on a screen pass. He did not return.
 "He'll be evaluated and have an MRI this afternoon," Kubiak said of Green after the game.  
  • On the Texans' third kick return midway through the second quarter, defensive tackle Cedric Killings collided with a Colts' defender and lay motionless on the ground with a neck injury. Trainers and medical staff attended to him, and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. He has feelings in his extremities and currently is being driven to the hospital. Click here for more.
  • Jacoby Jones injured his left shoulder on his 74-yard punt return in the third quarter. He was brought into the locker room for x-rays.
 "Jacoby Jones has an AC separation," Kubiak said. "He'll be evaluated in the next couple of days. I can tell he'll miss some time." 
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