It started off on the wrong foot and it never really changed for the full 60 minutes as the Indianapolis Colts swept the season series, winning game number two from your Houston Texans 31-0. Here are my Harris Hits from a difficult afternoon in Houston.
The game started with one of the best catches I've seen at NRG Stadium. Now, I've seen some of the greatest receivers in the game in this building make some magical catches, but I've never seen a defensive back make a catch quite like the one that Colts DB Kenny Moore II made on the sideline on the first play of the game. The play was called an incompletion and I was initially shielded by people on the sideline. However, when #23 came flying off the sideline imploring his head coach Frank Reich to throw the challenge flag, I KNEW it was an interception before Gavin and the game day operations crew could put the replay on the video board. If there's a DB that COULD make that catch, it's Moore. Lo and behold, he was right, it was an interception, and it set the entire day in motion in the wrong direction.
The Colts scored a few plays later and the Texans were chasing the rest of the day. Then, on the Texans' second possession of the game, Moore II and Khari Willis forced a fumble and the Colts had another short field. Then, the defense bowed its neck. It forced a field goal attempt, which Michael Badgley pushed wide left. So, as tough a start as it was, the Texans got the ball back down just 7-0 after turning it over twice on the first two drives. However, the Texans went three-and-out on the third drive.
The defense got another stop on the next Colts drive and then another one after that. That second drive was a three-and-out stop and the score remained 7-0. If the offense could muster one drive…just one. So, starting at their nine-yard line, QB Tyrod Taylor picked up a first down on a catch-and-run by TE Pharaoh Brown. Then, Taylor scrambled for another first down to the Houston 33-yard line. Then, the play of the game, in some sense, happened. Taylor threw an absolute dart to WR Nico Collins on a deep over route and Collins took the ball all the way into Indy territory. YES, FINALLY! An explosive play, now the offense is attacking. The Colts are a bit dazed. And…a penalty for illegal formation, in essence both the TE and WR lined up on the line of scrimmage.
Immediately, I thought of the greatest play I've ever seen that didn't count and that was DeAndre Hopkins' one-handed catch against the Giants in 2014. On that play, Hop lined up on the ball because he saw #74 Tyson Clabo as the end man on the line of scrimmage. Thinking he was an OL, Hop moved up onto the line of scrimmage, but in reality Clabo was a sixth OL, inserted as an eligible tight end, so Clabo had to be the end man on the line of scrimmage. I bring that up because seeing that catch again was an amazing memory and that's fun. But, on this play, there wasn't an OT at the TE spot. It was a TE. Now, Brown, the TE, could've been lined up incorrectly or Collins, the WR, was lined up incorrectly. I don't know which pass catcher was lined up incorrectly but it cost the Texans a potentially, dam breaking 23-yard catch with the game still 7-0.
After that penalty, the Texans offense went backwards and eventually faced a third-and-26. It didn't convert. On the ensuing drive, Colts QB Carson Wentz led the Colts down to the Texans two-yard line. He then threw a DIME to WR Ashton Dulin for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. The defense did all it could in the first half and kept the Texans in the game as much as it could.
Texans LB Kamu Grugier-Hill finished the game with 19 tackles, a sack, three TFL, a QB hit and an assisted tackle on special teams. The epitome of leaving it all on the field? That was #51 yesterday. I've said NUMEROUS times that KGH is the Defensive MVP for this season to this point.
Also, DL Maliek Collins was consistently creating mayhem for the Colts yesterday. This is the Maliek I remember seeing at Nebraska during his college career. I love what he's brought to this defense. Creating chaos. Making TFLs. Generating QB hits. #97 is making things tough on opposing OL.
I'm going to leave it right there and start getting ready for Seattle. If history holds in this meetup, it's going to be a WILD afternoon at NRG Stadium on Sunday. See ya then, everyone!!
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.