Brandon Weeden hasn't been a Texan for long, but on Sunday he contributed in a huge way.
The backup quarterback entered the game late in the first half and helped engineer the Texans to their seventh win of the season and their first ever at Indianapolis.
"It's good for this organization," Weeden said. "Guys were hungry. Guys knew what we were playing for with three games left in the year and all that's at stake."
Weeden trotted on to the Lucas Oil Stadium turf with 1:14 remaining in the second quarter, after T.J. Yates exited with a knee injury.
He promptly completed 4-of-5 passes on the drive for 36 yards, and he moved the offense to the Indianapolis 5-yard line.
Nick Novak booted a 22-yard field goal as time expired, and the Texans were on the board at the intermission, trailing 10-3.
"He was real calm," running back Alfred Blue said of Weeden's demeanor in the huddle. "He was a leader. He just controlled the huddle and was a leader out there."
After the break, Weeden was 7-of-13 for 84 yards, and tossed the lone touchdown pass of the game for Houston when he found Jaelen Strong for an 8-yard touchdown with 10:36 remaining in the game.
"It's not like it's their first rodeo," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "The guy's been in games. He's a pro. He acts like a pro. He carries himself like a pro."
It's been a topsy-turvy autumn for the 4th-year pro out of Oklahoma State. He started a trio of games for the Cowboys, was waived, and picked up by the Texans a month ago. He's spent his time in Houston cramming as much of the offense into his brain as possible.
"A lot of studying," Weeden said. "A lot of late nights. My wife and kid are back home, so I'm bored. I'm in there by myself, watching tape and studying the playbook each and every week."
That extra work came in handy on Sunday, as the Texans wound up with a 16-10 victory and control of the AFC South. For left tackle Duane Brown, who before this day made the trip home from Indianapolis on the losing side, Weeden's contribution was enormous.
"Weeden stepped in and did an incredible job," Brown said. "That's what I love about this team: we're a resilient bunch."
Weeden finished with a passer rating of 95.8, and more importantly, got the Texans back in the win column.
The Texans faced the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 15.