For over two months, Tyrann Mathieu has been thinking about the Indianapolis Colts.
On Sept. 30 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Houston, still winless at 0-3, looked to be changing their luck. But, it was another Luck that seemed to get in the way of a hard-fought first win.
After building a 21-10 lead at halftime, Andrew Luck began to pull off one of his trademark comebacks, throwing three touchdown passes in the second half. With 45 seconds remaining, Luck connected with running back Nyheim Hines on a 9-yard touchdown pass. He promptly followed it up with a successful two-point conversion on a throw to Chester Rogers. The Texans were headed to overtime and in jeopardy of losing their fourth consecutive game.
"This game has been on my mind since we played these guys," Mathieu said. "I didn't play my best game. I felt like we gave up too many yards on defense. We weren't really competing how we really wanted to. We weren't challenging those guys the way we wanted to so it's going to be a big emphasis on especially on the secondary this week. Just trying to do what we've been doing the past couple of weeks. Not do anything special but to remember how it went the last time around."
The Texans pulled off a dramatic 37-34 win in overtime in a moment that turned their season around. However, Mathieu and the Texans know what Luck is capable of, throwing for 464 yards and four touchdowns in a loss. His top target T.Y. Hilton exited the game in the first quarter, but not before making four catches for 115 yards.
The margin between winning and losing is razor-thin.
"They are going to come in here ready to play and they are going to give us their best shot and we have to give them our best shot," defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said. "But what happened in the past is in the past but you can learn from it. I think that's what Tyrann is talking about, learning from some of the mistakes that we made in the first game that allowed them to throw for 460-something yards, allowed them four touchdowns, allowed T.Y. Hilton to have 115 yards so we need to cut back on that considerably to give ourselves the best chance to win the game."
Houston's defense has clamped down on offenses in their nine-game winning streak, ranked third in the NFL allowing an average 19.6 points per game. The Colts, now at 6-6 after a five-game win streak of their won, are still in playoff contention.
Luck has thrown for 3,360 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions through 12 games. As for the defense's challenge of containing Hilton, who has caught six of those touchdown passes, Crennel half-jokes in response.
"I might have to triple-team the guy."
The (9-3) Texans will face the (6-6) Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Kickoff is set for Sunday at 12 noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
Check out the best Week 13 images from Texans team photographer Zach Tarrant. Presented by Houston Methodist.