Houston We Have A Problem
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
These two teams faced off just a couple of weeks ago and the Texans were able to beat the Colts on their home-field and lock up the AFC South. The Colts had already played their way in to the playoffs but they just had head coach Chuck Pagano return from chemotherapy treatment for his Leukemia and they wanted a win against their division foe. The Texans have been struggling of late and the #1 seed in the AFC looked to be a lock for the team when they were 11-1 in week 13 but they would go on to lose 3 of their next 4. Deji Karim would return a kick return 101 yards to put the Colts ahead for good, it was the longest kick return for a touchdown since the team moved to Indianapolis. The Colts stayed #ChuckStrong and after their coaches emotional return to the sideline it was only fitting that Indy would win at Lucas Oil Stadium.
It was interesting to see that for the last 4 games coming into this matchup that Andrew Luck had completed 44, 47, 48 and 48% of his passes. He completed 50% of his 28 attempts on Sunday but for the 3rd straight week the #1 overall pick didn’t turn the ball over. Despite a lower than expected completion percentage in the final 5 games of the season Luck led his team to a 4-1 record tossing 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, but none in the final three games. For the year Luck finished with a rookie record 4374 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, while completing 54% of his passes. Peyton Manning had 3739 yards, 26, touchdowns and 28 interceptions during his rookie season. What may be more impressive is that Andrew Luck led his team to 4 4th quarter comebacks and 7 game-winning drives in his rookie year while Mr. Comeback Peyton Manning had just 1.
What did the Texans in for good was a 70 yard touchdown pass from Luck to fellow rookie T.Y. Hilton in the 4th quarter. Hilton had a great rookie campaign ending the year with 50 catches on 91 targets, for 861 yards and 7 touchdown receptions. Hilton’s touchdown made a 5 point game a 12 point game and allowed the Colts to hold on to a 16-28 victory dropping the Texans from the #1 seed in the AFC to the #3. Houston went from having home-field advantage to hosting a Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Bengals, again. Indianapolis will be traveling to Baltimore to play another slumping team, the Ravens. If The Colts can beat Baltimore and the Texans can beat the Bengals, that would set up what would be an epic matchup between Luck and Manning in Denver during the Divisional round of the playoffs.