This was not the day anyone in H-Town wanted. The Colts ambushed the Texans and walked away with a two-score win, sending Houston to 0-2 with a tough date on the docket next week.
The game got off to an alarming start, as Anthony Richardson and friends marched down the field and took a 7-0 lead on an 18-yard QB keeper.
The Texans couldn't respond and were strip-sacked, giving the ball to Richardson at the Houston 15. A play later it was 14-0, forcing an immediate response.
C.J. Stroud then led the Texans on a 68-yard drive, including three key 3rd down passes, the last of which rung up his first TD pass, an eight-yarder to Nico Collins.
The teams traded two punts each after that, before Richardson had to exit the game with a concussion evaluation.
We've seen Gardner Minshew before, as a Jaguar. The Texans were 3-0 against him but the fifth year QB got hot and was able to get his team in the end zone on back-to-back drives, thanks in large part to the hard running of Zach Moss, who racked up 88 yards and score.
The deficit never got below 11 the rest of the way. The Texans threatened to cut the Colts' lead to eight with time to make a stop and get the ball back, but a missed 51-yard field goal ended the fun.
Yes, I used the word 'fun' because it was enjoyable to watch the H-Town offense heat up behind the passing game of Stroud and his receivers.
Nico Collins had a career day. Tank Dell caught his first touchdown pass and Robert Woods was impactful as well as Stroud threw for 384 yards – the highest team passing total in four years.
But all of this happened on another afternoon when the Texans couldn't get the ground attack cranked up. Twenty-six team carries yielded only 52 yards and that's not exactly what DeMeco Ryans has in mind as he puts together game plans.
Yes, the Texans were playing without four would-be starters on the O-line, but they'll be the first to tell you that they need a ground game to take the heat off the defense and the passing game.
Now comes Jacksonville. The defending AFC South champs just beat these Colts last week and just lost to the Chiefs at home. It's been six years since the Texans have fallen to the Jags in north Florida and they'd like to keep that streak going.
At some point, many of the injured players will return and we'll get a better look at what the true potential is of the 2023 Texans. Until then, they'll need to find a way to stay in games on their way to manufacturing wins.