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Vandermeer's View: Texans win thriller in Indy

We’ll remember this one for a while. It wasn’t perfect. There were plenty of plays they wanted back, especially on defense. But the fact is, the Texans thrived and then survived what evolved into a shootout on the road to win their first game of 2018.

The day started painfully with the maestro known as Andrew Luck dissecting his way down the field for a 7-0 lead. But the Houston defenders eventually pounced, scoring with a Jadeveon Clowney fumble recovery in the end zone. The poor Colts field position was skillfully set up by Trevor Daniel’s sand wedge punt inside the five yard line.

The offense would grab the lead with a 52-yard drive. Deshaun Watson was surgical and found Will Fuller to grab a 14-7 advantage. J.J. Watt would get a strip sack, one of two on the day, to set up a goal-to-go situation that Houston would cash in on for the first two-score lead of the season.

The offense opened the third quarter with a commanding, clock-draining drive that ate up more than half the frame and built a 28-10 lead. Game over, right?

Wrong.

Andrew Luck reignited the Colts offense and was suddenly unstoppable leading a 24-3 scoring barrage to force overtime. Yes, the defense was gassed, but they held the Colts to a field goal on two O.T. possessions and got the ball back for Watson to hit DeAndre Hopkins for the winning field goal spot.

This game could be a taste of many battles to come between Watson and Luck in which the last man to have the ball wins. Watson has thrown for over 300 yards for three consecutive weeks, the first Texan to do that since Matt Schaub in 2010. He moved the ball well against a defense that did a more than solid job in road performances against Alex Smith and Carson Wentz.

Meanwhile, Keke Coutee ran right by Andre Johnson’s debut record of six catches in 2003 on his way to an 11 reception afternoon. Fuller left the game with a hamstring problem and when the Texans have all three pass catchers available for an extended period of time, no one will look forward to dealing with them.

There is much to work on. The defense had many issues with a rejuvenated Luck as the game wore on. And the offense had some difficulty holding serve in the fourth quarter. But the Texans won a must-have divisional game on the road and gave themselves some juice heading into the Dallas game next week.

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