Skip to main content
Houston Texans

Texans fall to Colts 38-15


Rookie Darius Walker was active in the run game and in passing situations.


See the related links to the right for additional game coverage

INDIANAPOLIS - Wins over Tampa Bay and Denver the past two games showed just how far the Texans have come this season.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon at the RCA Dome, and the Texans showed that they still have some room to grow before they can contend on the road with some of the NFL's top heavyweights.

In a 38-15 loss to the five-time AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts, the Texans (7-8) saw the defending Super Bowl champions rack up 458 yards of total net offense and score 38 unanswered points.

In all too familiar fashion, the Texans committed three turnovers and forced only one Indianapolis giveaway. The result was a sloppy performance in front of 57,262 fans that have witnessed six consecutive wins over the Texans at the RCA Dome stretching from the 2002 season. Next year, the Colts will move into their new stadium across the street.

"It's definitely our worst performance of the year. We got our tails kicked," coach Gary Kubiak said following his team's first defeat since Dec. 2. "We were playing some pretty good football (entering the game). We came in here expecting to continue to play well. We knew we were playing a great football team.

"We were just totally dominated. We were dominated by them in all three phases."

{QUOTE}Quarterback Sage Rosenfels , who carried a 3-0 record as a starter this season, finished with 233 passing yards and two touchdowns, completing 22 of his 36 pass attempts. But he tossed three costly interceptions that resulted in 14 points by Indianapolis.

"I know one decision on his part was a very, very poor decision," Kubiak said. "One of the interceptions was a busted route. The other one was a dropped the ball, so it was not all him. There were other people involved."

The loss overshadows the solid all-purpose effort of rookie running back Darius Walker , who finished with 110 yards from scrimmage after rushing 19 times for 66 yards and catching six passes for 44 yards.

Neither running back Ron Dayne, who was limited all week with an ankle injury, nor running back Adimchinobe Echemandu, entered the game.

"To be honest with you, it wasn't planned. I was hoping that Ronnie would play in the second half," Kubiak said. "Once we got through the first series of the second half, I didn't think it made a lot of sense. I think that, hopefully, Ronnie can finish up the rest of the season."

Defensively, the Texans were victimized by wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who had a game-high 10 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Dallas Clark also chipped in with six catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Peyton Manning left the game after the third quarter with his team holding a 31-point lead, but not before throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns.

"That guy's (Manning) amazing," Kubiak said. "He gets you into the right play. We knew we would struggle against them man-to-man wise, and we did. When he's got you in zone coverage, he's going to cut you up pretty good. That's just the way the guy plays the game. They did that to us today and they are very difficult to stop."

The game went downhill after the Texans' opening possession. An 18-yard catch by Johnson and Walker's 14-yard run off the left tackle gave the Texans a first down near midfield. After a 16-yard run by Walker, his longest of the game, he made a nine-yard catch that set up Rosenfels' 17-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kevin Walter on a superb play action fake.

The Colts responded by marching 54 yards on nine plays to the Houston 18 before rookie cornerback Fred Bennett broke up Peyton Manning's pass intended for former Texans practice squad wideout Devin Aromashodu. Adam Vinatieri's 29-yard field goal made the score 7-3 with 6:55 left in the first quarter.

Wide receiver André Davis ' 35-yard kickoff return gave the Texans solid field position at their 35-yard line to start their second possession. Walker gained 13 yards on three carries to start the series, but a five-yard false start penalty and an incomplete pass to tight end Owen Daniels on third-and-13 stalled the drive near midfield.

A 42-yard catch by Wayne gave the Colts a first down at the Houston 22 at the beginning of the second quarter. Running back Joseph Addai finished the nearly seven-minute drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

"The thing we talked about with this team is that you've got to take advantage of your opportunities and hopefully hold them to three or four field goals," Kubiak said. "On the first series, we did hold them to three. We got a nice kick return and got nice field position and, like I said, we started to get a little sloppy on offense. We're offsides, we drop ball and before you know it they're up seven. That's the way it works against this team. You have to play close to perfect."

When the Colts' offense returned to the field, defensive end Mario Williams sacked Manning for a two-yard loss on the first snap, but defensive tackle Travis Johnson was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness to give Indianapolis a first down at the Indianapolis 21. After six completions by Manning, the Colts took a 17-7 lead thanks to Clark's six-yard touchdown catch with 5:42 left in the first half.

After Rosenfels' pass intended for Johnson was picked off by safety Bob Sanders, who returned the takeaway 29 yards to the Houston 26, the Colts' offense extended their lead with a four-play, 26-yard scoring drive. Clark finished the series with an 11-yard touchdown catch that helped make the score 24-7 with 3:39 remaining before halftime.

After Matt Turk 's landed his third punt inside the Colts' 20-yard line, the Texans forced their first turnover when Bennett tackled Wayne and popped the ball out. Defensive end Earl Cochran recovered the fumble at the Houston 49 for no gain with 21 seconds left in the first half.

The Texans burned two timeouts after Walker's nine-yard catch and Johnson's 11-yard reception to the Indianapolis 31, where Kris Brown 's 49-yard field goal attempt missed wide right.

Coming out of halftime, Manning completed three passes for 39 yards before handing off to Clark, who picked up 15 yards on fourth-and-two from the Houston 31. Running back Keyunta Dawson helped make the score 31-7 after his four-yard touchdown run.

On the Texans' first drive of the second half, Johnson caught two passes for 25 yards before Rosenfels' pass intended for Davis was tipped and then intercepted by safety Matt Giordano, who returned the pick six yards to the Indianapolis 34. Without skipping a beat, Manning passed for 43 yards on the ensuing drive, including a seven-yard touchdown pass to Wayne that gave the Colts a 38-7 lead with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Rosenfels threw his final interception as the Texans were driving into Indianapolis territory. His pass intended for Daniels was picked off in the end zone by defensive back Melvin Bullitt with 11:38 left in the game.

In the Texans' final drive of the game, Rosenfels found Johnson open for a six-yard touchdown. Walker scored on a short run on the two-point converion to cut the Colts' lead to 38-15.

But the late score was no consolation to Kubiak, who already is looking ahead to the season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium.

"If you can't bounce back from this, then you don't belong in this league," he said. "You've got to find a way to play even harder."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content