The Indianapolis Colts can hang their head high after a 29-17 loss at the hands of the Houston Texans today in Reliant Stadium. Yes they did get beat by 12 points and struggled to protect Andrew Luck all day. The Texans had a season high five sacks on Luck today and brought pressure nearly every play.
The Colts also gave Arian Foster a season-high 165 yards on 27 carries and failed to stop him in the end when they needed to. If you just look at the sacks, ground game and time of possession you may think the Colts were manhandled. In all reality though, if the Colts cut out two costly mistakes today they actually would have won despite all of their mishaps on both sides of the ball.
Early in the second quarter, the Colts got a huge break off a bad punt by the Texans. Indianapolis trailed 10-0 and couldn’t get anything going on offense prior to this drive. After some nice gains, they had the ball on the goaline threatening to score. Mewelde Moore made a irresponsible mistake by not holding the football tight as he was going to score and fumbled it less than an inch from the endzone. Stop short of giving credit to the Texans on that rather than a dumb mistake by a veteran who knows better. So, take that mistake away and add seven to the Colts score putting them down 29-24.
The next thing the Colts did that was their own mistake was allowing Bryan Braman to block Pat McAfee’s punt and return it eight yards for a touchdown. That should have never happened.
Braman’s move was a weak effort at a swim move to get by rookie tight end Dwayne Allen. The rookie did his best impression of a matador and just allowed him by for a clean uneffortless blocked punt. To make matters worse he caught his own blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown. Again, no credit should be given to the Texans rather than a huge mistake by Allen to allow him by. Take away seven points from the Texans there and that brings the score to 24-22 with the Colts lead.
This is the kind of thing the Colts need to fix on the road. They can’t keep giving games away like that. The NFL is such a small margin of error league and two simple plays was the difference between a win or loss.