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Other Week 14 Game Recaps

Week 14 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 24, Houston Texans 21

What you need to know

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts started the game with 5 ugly possessions but quickly started finding success when they threw the ball downfield. Andrew Luck played very well outside of those first ugly possessions. Luck made multiple pinpoint downfield throws. TY Hilton repeatedly got wide open downfield generating 4 gains of 25 or more yards. Hilton seemingly got open at will and looked unstoppable against a number of different defenders. Eric Ebron had a pair of drops and a few early miscues with Luck but also made some nice plays. Zach Pascal continues to show strong hands and wide catch radius and could become fantasy relevant if he sees targets. The Colts backfield did not see much work and found limited success on their opportunities. Throwing the ball downfield was the path of least resistance for the Colts.

Houston Texans

WR DeAndre Carter suffered a concussion which really hurt the Texans offense moving forward. Carter will enter the concussion protocol and his status is up in the air with a Saturday game for the Texans.

WR Keke Coutee is still dealing with a hamstring injury and the Texans are being extra careful with their starting slot. His impact is clear for the offense and the Texans know they have to be careful with him especially heading into the playoffs if they can close out a berth in the postseason.

Indianapolis Colts

QB Andrew Luck, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 41 - 399 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 16 - 0
Andrew Luck and the Colts picked up where they left off against the Jaguars with 4 straight 3 and outs to open the game. The Colts first three possessions ended quickly with 3 ugly plays on 3rd down. Colts tight ends Eric Ebron and Erik Swoope each dropped a pass and Andrew Luck had a pass batted at the line of scrimmage. Under pressure Luck threw a high pass over the middle that went through the hands of Zach Pascal and was intercepted. Following the interception Luck took his play to another level and began aggressively throwing the ball downfield. Luck's next throw was a nearly perfect 60 yard bomb to TY Hilton to set up a Marlon Mack touchdown. Luck stayed hot with 23 and 28 yard completions to Ebron and Pascal respectively. Luck capped with drive with a dart to Ebron for a 14 yard touchdown. Luck engineered another touchdown drive with a 15 yard completion to Ryan Grant on 3rd down and a 34 yard gain to Hilton. Followed by a 12 yard throw to Pascal for a touchdown. One of Luck's best throw's of the game was a 28 yard back shoulder throw to TY Hilton showing perfect timing and placement against tight coverage. Luck sealed the win for the Colts drawing Jadeveon Clowney offsides with the hard count.

RB Marlon Mack, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 33 - 1 (1 targets)
Marlon Mack saw limited work with the Colts struggling to sustain offense early then moving the ball with passes deep downfield. Mack played well but found little room to run on his opportunities. Mack scored a 4 yard touchdown running off right guard. Mack is clearly the lead back and should continue to get the majority of the work in the backfield.

RB Nyheim Hines, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 1 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (5 targets)
Nyhiem Hines saw limited usage against the Texans. The Colts did not run the ball much and the success of the downfield passing game minimized the need for the Colts to use Hines. Hines picked up 10 yards on catch in the flat. Hines ran a quick out from the slot for 6 yards.

WR T.Y. Hilton, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 199 - 0 (12 targets)
TY Hilton functioned as the engine of the Colts offense generating explosive plays downfield at will. Despite being questionable with a shoulder injury Hilton looked healthy and unstoppable. Hilton made his first catch for an 8 yard gain on a screen pass. Made a catch running a comeback route and slipped a tackle for a 19 yard gain. Hilton blew by double coverage running a post route and hauled in a bomb from Luck for 60 yards. Hilton gained 8 running a slant. Hilton found a huge hole in the Texans coverage between the corner and the deep safety and made an easy catch for 34 yards. Hilton roasted another member of the Texans secondary for 28 more yards running a corner route. Hilton made an outstanding back shoulder catch with Jonathan Joseph in coverage for 29 yards.

WR Chester Rogers, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 36 - 0 (6 targets)
Chester Rogers saw a bump in targets with Inman out of the line up. Rogers mostly functioned as underneath receiver in the flat and on screen passes. Rogers gained 10 running a comeback route over the middle. Rogers converted a 3rd and 10 with an 11 yard gain on a screen pass.

WR Zach Pascal, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 68 - 1 (6 targets)
Zach Pascal played his best game of the season making plays downfield and over the middle. Pascal made a 9 yard catch running a slant. Pascal picked up 8 yards running a curl from the slot. Pascal had a high and off target throw from Luck go through his hands and get intercepted. Pascal came open running down the seam in front of the deep safety for 28 yards. Pascal ran a double move against Shareece Wright for a 12 yard touchdown. Pascal made a 12 yard catch over the middle running a comeback route.

TE Eric Ebron, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 65 - 1 (8 targets)
Eric Ebron had an up and down game against the Texans. Ebron's first 3 targets fell incomplete. Including a drop that would have been a sure conversion on 3rd and 4. Ebron came wide open running up field on what appeared to be a blown coverage for 23 yards. Ebron made a nice adjustment to secure the catch running an out route and rolled into the end zone for a 14 yard touchdown. Ebron gained 13 running a comeback and getting yards after the catch. Ebron dropped a pass in the flat. Ebron picked up 15 yard running another comeback on 3rd and 10.

Houston Texans

QB Deshaun Watson, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 38 - 267 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 35 - 0
The big takeaway for Deshaun Watson was him missing two key touchdown throws to both Demaryius Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins. Watson overcooked both throws the receivers who had clear separation on the defenders in coverage, it proved to be the difference in the game on the scoreboard. Watson continues to complete passes at a high clip and he is starting to depend on his tight end group more over the recent weeks and against the Colts he was 11 of 11 for 151 yards. Watson had more 20+ yard pass attempts in recent weeks and could have had an even bigger day through the air. His only touchdown of the day came when the Texans entered the red zone and he was flushed out of the pocket and found DeAndre Hopkins in the back of the end zone by himself for a 7-yard scoring play. Watson had a strong passing day but he left too many big plays on the field that could have put points on the board.

RB Lamar Miller, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 33 - 1, Rec: 5 - 19 - 0 (6 targets)
It was an ugly day for the Texans running game and Lamar Miller struggled to get going on the ground. The offensive line was getting consistently beat forcing some poor runs for Miller. His longest rush of the game was 13 yards and coming out in the second half, the Texans opted to use Alfred Blue instead. Miller did have a 1-yard touchdown plunge on a direct snap to open up the scoring on a key 4th down play in the game. Miller also had 5 reception for 19 yards, with his longest reception for 5 yards.

RB Alfred Blue, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 21 - 1 (1 targets)
The Texans had a tad more success with Alfred Blue running the football and his longest rush was ll-yards. Blue started the second half and provided some solid runs when needed, he was targets once in the passing game but it was short hopped to him. Blue started off the scoring on the day with a 3-yard run that was initially stopped but then was helped in by an offensive line for the touchdown.

WR DeAndre Hopkins, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 36 - 1 (10 targets)
The Colts threw every coverage at DeAndre Hopkins but he was only able to come up with four receptions on the day. He had a 7-yard touchdown reception after he found a soft spit in the back of the end zone and Watson was able to find him. The big miss was when Hopkins got behind double coverage and Watson rushed the throw and over threw him not giving him a chance to make a play. Hopkins did his normal work on the outside but he just wasn’t given the chance to make a big play with the types of coverages the Colts used on him.

WR Demaryius Thomas, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 48 - 0 (6 targets)
Demaryius Thomas continues to find his way in this offense and his biggest play was on a nice deep in on a play action pass that Deshaun Watson hit him for 20-yards. Thomas continues to be used in smoke screen looks and on a 2nd and 19, Watson hit Thomas for a 19-yard catch and run that helped set up a touchdown. The Texans set up a good look for Thomas and was able to beat coverage on a corner route but Watson just put it just out of his reach. That would have been a big play and would have been a touchdown if he put it in the right spot.

TE Ryan Griffin, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 80 - 0 (5 targets)
The Texans tight end group is waking up and Ryan Griffin was the primary target today for Deshaun Watson. Griffin had key catches picked up some drive extending plays. He did majority of his work under the 9 yard range but his big play came on a 47 yard reception that saw Griffin hit the seam with Watson hitting him in stride for a long catch and run.

TE Jordan Thomas, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 31 - 0 (4 targets)
The Texans are doing everything to make sure Jordan Thomas is on the field and he is becoming a reliable option for Deshaun Watson over the middle. Thomas had two receptions for 14 and 10 yards and he had a key one-handed snag on a 6-yard catch on a 4th down play. Thomas and Griffin remain the Texans top two tight ends getting the bulk of the work with the offense.

TE Jordan Akins, 15 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 40 - 0 (2 targets)
Jordan Akins is getting snaps on the field and he had the first big play of the game after coverage for the Colts broke down. It was a 27-yard gain down the right sideline where he jumped knowing he was going to get hit coming down. Also, Akins had a nice play action route that saw him catch and run for 13-yards.