Week 7 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 38, Houston Texans 20
What you need to know
The Colts earned their seventh win of the season with solid play on both sides of the ball. Their explosive offense was a bit erratic in the first half with two turnovers, but despite those turnovers, they were able to do enough offensively to stay in the game Indianapolis scored on their first offensive possession of the game, when RB Edgerrin James punched it in from a yard out, following an efficient drive by the offense. QB Peyton Manning completed passes to all three of his wide receivers on the drive, including a 24 yard completion to WR Brandon Stokley that helped set up the score. Manning fumbled on the second possession of the game, but the Colts’ defense picked him up, intercepting an errant Texans’ pass on the very next play. Peyton Manning and the Colts made the Texans pay for the turnover when Manning recognized a Houston blitz and hit TE Dallas Clark with a quick strike that the tight end took 31 yards for a score. Following a Houston score, Manning turned the ball over for the second time when he was intercepted in Colt territory, leading to another Texans score. The game was tied at halftime, 14-14.
The second half was all Colts. Indianapolis scored on their first three possessions of the second half, with a touchdown run by RB Edgerrin James from nine yards out, a 36 yard field goal by K Mike Vanderjagt, and a seven yard passing score from Manning to WR Marvin Harrison. The defense also chipped in, when DT Montae Reagor recovered a David Carr fumble and returned it 37 yards for a score, putting Indianapolis up 38-14.
The Colts’ defense played a big part in the win, proving this is more than a one dimensional team, holding the Texans to six yards passing for the game and a total of minus four yards in the second half.
Houston was able to stay in the game in the first half by leaning heavily on RB Domanick Davis and capitalizing on an interception by DB Dunta Robinson by turning the takeaway into a touchdown. Davis carried the ball 22 times for 85 yards in the first half, including an eight yard touchdown run that cut the Colts’ lead to 14-7. One of QB David Carr’s lone bright spots of the day came following the Robinson interception, when he hit WR Jabar Gaffney from eight yards out for a score to tie the game at 14 going into the half.
The Texans lost any momentum they gained late in the first half, when the Colts took their opening possession of the second half 77 yards for a score. They were unable to answer the Colts’ score on their next drive and were forced to punt. Houston’s defense was unable to shut the Colts down on the ensuing possession, but managed to keep them out of the end zone, forcing a Colts’ field goal. After the offense was stalled on their next possession, the Indianapolis offense answered with a four play scoring drive and got into the end zone, giving the Colts a 17 point lead. The Texans’ offense gave the Colts a gift on the next drive of the game, when QB David Carr fumbled, turning the ball over to the Colts’ defense that returned the fumble for a touchdown. Houston was able to get on the board via special teams, when WR Jerome Mathis returned the Colt kickoff 89 yards for a score, setting the final score at 38-20.
What you ought to know
|QB Peyton Manning, Pass: 21 - 27 - 237 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 12 - 0|
Manning was on and off in the first half, with turnovers following each of the team’s first two scoring drives. On the first possession he hit slot WR Brandon Stokley on a 24 yard gain that set up a touchdown run by RB Edgerrin James, but was hit on the next drive for a sack, which he fumbled and lost to the Houston defense. He followed that with a scoring pass to TE Dallas Clark, where he recognized the Houston blitz and hit Clark in stride for the score. On the club’s next drive, he was intercepted in Indianapolis territory, a turnover that led to a Texan touchdown that tied up the game before half. The second half was all Colts, as the club scored on every possession but their last, where they ended up taking a knee to end the game. Manning, following two first half turnovers, was sharp on all three possessions of the second half and finished the game 21 of 27 for 237 yards and two touchdowns.
James had a big game rushing for the Colts, finishing the game with 139 yards on 21 carries, including scoring runs of one and nine yards. He ran hard and showed why he is one of the most productive backs in the league. He was not much of a factor in the passing game, catching only one pass on his only target of the game, but was a huge factor in wearing down the Texans’ defense.
Rhodes spelled James at times, mostly in the second half, and finished the game with 50 yards rushing on six carries.
Mungro had only one rush for four yards for the game.
Wayne had a nice game for the Colts and caught every ball thrown his way, finishing with nine catches for 89 yards. Seven of his nine grabs were for first downs.
Harrison finished the game with seven catches for 65 yards, including a touchdown from seven yards out. Four of his catches went for first downs, and like Wayne, Harrison was targeted nine times for the game.
Stokley’s lone pass reception came in the first quarter, when Manning hit him with a 24 yards strike that set up the Colts’ first score of the game.
Clark caught all three balls thrown his way, all of which came in the first half, and scored on a 31 yard reception from Manning.
Vanderjagt hit on all five of his extra points and hit a field goal from 36 yards out.
The Indianapolis rush defense gave up 133 yards on the ground, 98 of which was courtesy of Domanick Davis, but 85 of that came in the first half. Houston’s offense was only on the field for about nine minutes in the second half, and the scoring run the Colts went on put any thoughts of a rushing attack on hold for the Texans.
The Colts’ defense was spectacular, holding the Texans to 48 passing yards and putting pressure on Houston QB David Carr all game long. They did give up a passing touchdown when Carr hit Jabar Gaffney from eight yards out, but it came following a Colts’ turnover on a short field. The unit had five sacks, one interception, and ran back a Carr fumble for a touchdown.
|QB David Carr, Pass: 6 - 9 - 48 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 35 - 0|
Carr struggled for the game and was pressured constantly by the Indianapolis defense. He was only six of nine passing on the day for 48 yards, including an eight yard scoring pass to Jabar Gaffney, but was intercepted once and fumbled once, both leading to Colts’ scores. He did have 35 yards rushing on five attempts, but failed to get away from the Colts for the majority of the day, getting sacked five times.
Davis was the lone bright spot for the Texans, rushing for 98 yards and a score on 28 carries. His running in the first half helped the Texans keep the powerful Colts’ offense off the field, as he carries 22 times for 85 yards, including a scoring run from eight yards out. In the second half, he carried only six times for 13 yards, largely due to the fact the team faced such a large deficit.
Gaffney caught four of the five balls thrown at him, including an eight yard touchdown pass from Carr. For the rest of the game, however, he totaled only 17 yards on three catches.
The only catch from Rivers came on third and 14, a 16 yard grab that kept alive a Houston drive that eventually led to a Davis’ touchdown run.
Brown hit both of his extra point attempts on the day.
Edgerrin James did what he wanted against the Houston defense and finished with 139 of the club’s 205 rushing yards on the day, including two scores. James averaged 6.6 yards a carry, and the team as a whole rushed for a 6.0 yard average. The Texan defense gave up almost as many first downs rushing, 12, as their offense had total for the game, 13.
The Texans’ pass defense was picked apart by Peyton Manning, who hit on 21 of 27 passing on the day for 237 yards. Although the Houston defensive backfield intercepted a Manning pass in the first half, they allowed the Colts’ wideouts to find openings in their secondary all game long. Between Wayne and Harrison, eleven of their sixteen catches went for first downs, and the duo finished with 154 yards and a touchdown. They also gave up a score through the air to TE Dallas Clark, who beat a blitz and bad coverage for a 31 yard touchdown.