There go our hopes. The Indianapolis Colts got knocked down by the Houston Texans 16-10. The Colts lost their opportunity at keeping their playoff spot nailed down. A sad, sad day in Indianapolis.
It’s a hard day for Colts fans when the pre-game tailgate is better than the game. But that’s been something of the recurring story this year. The Colts have been going wrong. The Colts will look good for a moment. Then, someone gets hurt. The Colts will have a chance. Then, they’ll blow it. Yesterday’s loss almost seemed a foregone conclusion.
Rather than speculate about whether or not Colts’ owner Jim Irsay would keep on coaches and staff past this year, the question has changed. The conversation now is centered around who would replace them. If that’s not a sign of how this season has gone, we don’t know what would be.
The Texans are now 7-7. The Colts, just 6-8. No one predicted this. Maybe someone with keen foresight could have seen how a lack of a good o-line leads to quarterbacks getting hurt. Play after play, they were getting pummeled. The injuries pile up. Especially late in an NFL season, it can be hard to stay healthy, but this number of injuries is rough on the team. Because of that, the bad kind of franchise records are starting to fall.
This was the first time the Houston Texans beat the Colts at home. Pretty much ever. What rubs salt in the already kidney-lacerated wound, is that the Colts were defeated by a third-string QB. One, Brandon Weeden, took over and helped the Texans gain their second-half victory.
Maybe the locker-room speeches aren’t up to par this season? The Colts have been consistently outscored in the third and fourth quarters. Even though this game finally saw the Colts take possession at the start of the second-half, they couldn’t seem to do anything. Or if they did get something rolling, a massive, major, terrible, no-good, bad-day, error would take it all back to where it started from. Ouch.
The Texans traditionally can’t find their game around the Colts. That looked like the kind of day they were going to have again, at least in the beginning. Vontae Davis had an early pick. Colts were intercepting the Texans to neutralize any threats. Anthony Castonzo was back. Back-up QB Matt Hasselbeck was back (though playing in pain.) It looked like the Colts could win.
Dontae Moncrief had the first touchdown of the game. Colts players like Trent Cole were making sacks. Quan Bray was making great runs off of punt returns. Pat McAfee was giving the Texans terrible field position. Kicker, Adam Vinateri was close to his 500th field goal. It seemed on the up-and-up. The score was 10-3 going into the half.
But the run game was still missing. The Colts couldn’t take advantage of Bill O’Brien’s team mistakes. The Texans upped their defense and produced solid third-down stops. Worst of all, the third quarter saw the loss of the fans. It was like they could feel the shifting tide. It got quiet.
Everyone was very aware of what this game meant. Playoff spot. AFC South champions. A chance to prove themselves. The Colts didn’t come through. They fumbled, threw interceptions at the worst possible moments, and left the AFC South a complicated mess. So, it’s not to say that the Colts can’t get a playoff spot. But it’s an uphill battle now.
The Colts have two more games. Only two more. They have one more on the road, against the beatable Miami Dolphins on Sunday, December 27th. If you’re going to be in Florida, tickets for the Colts vs. Dolphins game are on sale.
Then, the Colts have one more chance to prove themselves to the home crowd. The next game in Lucas Oil Stadium will be in 2016, January 3rd to be exact. Against the Tennessee Titans at 1:00 p.m. Tickets for the Titans vs. Colts game are up for grabs. Because it’s a Colts home game, there’s a Colts VIP Tailgate as well. We’d love to see you there! Discounted tickets are available if you buy a Colts ticket and a VIP Tailgate ticket together. Here’s hoping the force will be with the Colts next week.