What was that? Texans blow lead, play not to win in 20-20 tie with Colts

HOUSTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 11: Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. #11 celebrates scoring a touchdown against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

What was that? Texans blow lead, play not to win in 20-20 tie with Colts

Houston surrendered 20-3 fourth quarter lead, but managed to escape with tie in overtime.

The Texans withstood a 17 point fourth quarter charge by the Colts, and Houston took advantage of two Matt Ryan turnovers en route to a 20-20 tie in Week 1.

The Texans revamped run defense showed itself to be much more stout than it has been in recent years, swarming to the football and getting occasional penetration to get hits behind the line, including a huge tackle for loss on a 4th & Goal from the 2 situation in the second quarter. The offense took advantage of Colts penalties and OJ Howard made a huge impression in his first game with a pair of touchdown catches, and it was just enough to avoid a loss.

The game opened with teams trading three and outs, but on their second possession the Colts put together a 12 play, 46 yard drive that resulted in a 45 yard FG for Rodrigo Blankenship to give the Colts a 3-0 lead.

After another Texans three and out, the Colts would have another long sustained drive of 10 plays and 66 yards but a defensive stand by the Texans defense would force the Colts to turn the ball over on downs. The Colts decided to go for it on fourth and 2, but Jon Greenard came up with a huge tackle for loss to stuff Indy.

Houston would embark on a 14 play, 69 yard drive that would result in a field goal to tie the game at 3.

The Texans would then capitalize on the Colts next possession, when Houston DE Jerry Hughes would make a one-handed interception of Matt Ryan. Houston would find the end zone for the first time when Davis Mills found newly signed TE OJ Howard for a 16 yard touchdown for a 10-3 lead that would stand up through the half.

Houston opened the second half with the football, and on their first play from scrimmage connected on a 42 yard pass from Mills to Cooks on a flea flicker. It would lead to a 43 yard FG by Ka’imi Fairbairn and extend the lead to 13-3.

The Texans defense would force another fumble on the Colts next possession, with Christian Kirksey recovering a Matt Ryan fumble at the Houston 42. Davis Mills would then find OJ Howard again, this time for 22 yards and a touchdown, and the Texans were in command with a 20-3 lead with 1:40 left in the 3rd quarter.

That’s when the wheels started to fall off for Houston.

After the Colts defense held following a 12 play drive by the Texans, Indianapolis responded with an 11 play drive that led to a 27 yard FG, making the score 20-6.

The Texans then committed their first turnover of the game, when EJ Speed was left unblocked and had a clear line to Davis Mills, leading to a blindside sack and fumble, recovered by the Colts at the Houston 20. Four plays later, Jonathan Taylor found the end zone to make it a 20-13 game.

The Texans offense still couldn’t get anything going, and punted following only 5 plays. A now tired Texans defense then got gouged by Jonathan Taylor and the Colts running game, as Indianapolis blazed down the field on an 80 yard drive that took only 2:35 and Matt Ryan found Michael Pittman for a 15 yard touchdown to tie the game at 20 with just 1:54 left in regulation.

The game would head to overtime, where things didn’t start well for Houston.

The Texans pass protection, which had been strong most of the game, allowed two sacks. The offensive line was also whistled for a false start and Houston was three and out.

The Colts continued to move the ball offensively in overtime, but a 42 yard FG attempt by Blankenship that would have won the game sailed wide right.

The Texans could not capitalize, and the Colts did not have enough time left on the clock to mount another long drive, allowing the Texans to hold on for the tie and avoid a full collapse.

Houston will travel to Denver to take on the Broncos for Week 2.

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