Vandermeer’s View: Back in front

There they were in the beginning of the fourth quarter, down four. The Texans badly needed a touchdown drive. The defense, which had a tough time stopping the Colts running game, came up with a big three-and-out to get the ball back.

The four-point deficit was created because the Texans put together a field goal march to answer a Colts touchdown. That touchdown came after Houston failed to convert a 4th-and-3 at the Colts 34-yard line. So the three-and-out was definitely a sign that momentum was beginning to shift.

To prove it, to take the lead, the Texans would have to drive 86 yards.

They did.

Carlos Hyde had a 33-yard run to get into Colts territory. Five plays later, Deshaun Watson would connect with DeAndre Hopkins for their second TD of the game.

The Texans had the lead but the drama was far from over. The fate of the ensuing Indy possession rested on a pass attempt to T.Y. Hilton. It was broken up by Johnathan Joseph.

After the Texans had to punt from their 40-yard line, Indy threatened again. And wouldn’t you know it, the game hung in the balance on a fourth down attempt by the Colts, just like last year at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Jacoby Brissett scrambled and ran toward the first down line but Brennan Scarlett stopped him less than a yard away from getting a fresh set of downs.

Houston picked up a first down and was able to kill the clock from there.

This was another unforgettable game in this series. The teams were playing on short rest and the action was extremely physical. The Colts had success moving the ball in the second and third quarters but the Texans owned the fourth frame.

The return of Will Fuller V was huge. Watson heated up as the night went along. And Hopkins again put together a tour de force performance on the national stage.

The win lunged the Texans back into first in the AFC South. It’s too early to fully dive in on what this victory could mean down the stretch. Let’s just say the division would have been monumentally difficult to win without it.

That doesn’t exactly mean it’s smooth sailing from here. The Patriots are up next and there are no easy outs after that. But the Texans do have control over their division destiny. They earned that Thursday night. And they need to keep earning it down the stretch.

Houston Texans take on the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium for the eleventh game of the 2019 NFL season.

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