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Week 18 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 21, Houston Texans 7
What you need to know
It was a tale of two halves for the Colts offense. Andrew Luck
and the passing game were firing on all cylinders in the first half. Colts receivers were getting open all over the field and Luck was delivering the ball on time. TY Hilton and Dontrelle Inman
looked unstoppable making plays downfield. However, the Colts were shut out in the second half after scoring 3 touchdowns in the first half. Luck had a number of near misses in the second half and the Texans did a much better job of contesting downfield throws and pressuring Luck in the second half. Marlon Mack
played great and generated explosive plays in the running game. Mack helped the Colts control the clock and seal the victory in the Colts four minute offense. Eric Ebron
dropped a potential touchdown and was just out of bounds on deep target from Luck or he could have had a huge game. Dontrelle Inman
looked and functioned like the Colts number one receiver at times during the game. Look for him to be a key player for the Colts going forward.
The tight end group played but they were not even real options. Jordan Akins
had 2 receptions for 8 yards while Ryan Griffin
had a receptions for 6 yards.
D’Onta Foreman was active but only had one carry for 3 yards.
|QB Andrew Luck, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 32 - 222 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 8 - 29 - 0|
played at a very high level in the first half and seemed a little bit off in the second half. Luck showed outstanding poise and accuracy to open the game. Luck connected 3 times with TY Hilton on the Colts opening possession for 63 yards including a 38 yard dime to beat double coverage. Luck also made an outstanding sideline throw to Hilton as he scrambled to keep the drive alive and set up a 6 yard touchdown to Eric Ebron
. The Colts scored another touchdown on their second possession and the drive was comprised almost entirely of run plays. Marlon Mack
capped the drive with a 2 yard touchdown run. The Colts moved into the red zone following a turnover on their third possession. Luck was intercepted targeting Marlon Mack
in the flat because JJ Watt batted the pass into the air for an easy interception. Luck responded to the interception with a flawless drive. Luck went 3 for 4 for 54 yards and a touchdown with the only incompletion being a drop by Eric Ebron
. Luck connected with Inman for an 18 yard touchdown who is becoming one of Luck’s favorite targets especially in the red zone. The Colts opened the second half with two failed possessions and Luck started the half 0/4 passing with 3 near misses and 2 passes that could have been caught. The Colts did not manage to score any points in the second half. The Colts went away from what was working for them to some extent but also simply failed to execute. Dontrelle Inman
and Marlon Mack
could have seen more looks especially early in the second half. Luck was not as accurate in the second half as the first and the Texans defense did a better job of pressuring Luck and contesting throws downfield. Chester Rogers
and Zach Pascal
each had a drop in the second half.
|RB Marlon Mack, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 24 - 148 - 1, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)|
was the Colts most productive and effective player offensively over the course of the game. Mack is proving he can handle a full workload and be highly effective. Mack looked fast, strong, and he did not shy away from contact running inside. Mack amassed 45 total yards and a touchdown on a single drive for the Colts. First Mack went untouched for 25 yards off left tackle thanks to an outstanding block from a pulling Joe Haeg. Mack effortlessly chewed up yardage in the open field. Mack then made an outsanding cut at the line of scrimmage to gain 9. Mack was brought down at the 2 yard line after a 6 yard gain on a check down from Luck and scored a 2 yard rushing touchdown on the ensuing play. Mack made two outstanding cuts at the second level to make two defenders miss and gain 29. Mack secured the victory for the Colts with strong running at the end of the game. Mack broke into the second level running behind Ryan Kelly for 15 yards. Mack then gained the edge running off right tackle and escaped down the sideline for 26 yards to seal the game for the Colts.
|WR T.Y. Hilton, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 85 - 0 (10 targets)|
TY Hilton played well and made a number of key plays on 3rd down but did not quite seem himself. Hilton disappeared for stretches of the game and saw his first 3 targets of the second half fall incomplete. Hilton made his first catch for 12 yards to convert a 3rd and 12 running a comeback route with Jonathan Joseph in coverage. Hilton worked to get open running a crossing route as Luck scrambled and converted a 3rd and short with a 13 yard catch along the sideline. Hilton ran a deep post from the slot and made a spectacular catch to beat double coverage and gain 38 yards. Hilton converted another 3rd down with a sliding 2 yard catch on 3rd and 1. The 2 yard catch was the only target Hilton saw in the first half after gaining 63 yards on the Colts opening possession. Hilton saw his first 3 targets of the second half fall incomplete before making a great contested sideline catch for 20 yards on 3rd and 5.
looked outstanding against the Texans. Inman made the Texans secondary look bad on multiple occasions beating defenders easily. The connection between Inman and Luck should only get stronger going forward. Inman has been a lethal weapon in the red zone and that trend should continue. Inman made an unorthodox move running a comeback route to make two defenders miss and pick up 10 yards. Inman gained about 4 yards of separation running an out route against Kareem Jackson and made an easy catch for 21 yards. Inman burned Shareece Wright a few plays later for an 18 yard touchdown running a corner route. Inman again beat Jackson with ease and got behind him forcing Jackson to blatantly hold Inman drawing a 23 yard pass interference penalty.
worked to get open as Luck scrambled and was rewarded with a 16 yard catch along the sideline running an improvised crossing route. Rogers gained 12 yards running an in breaking route over the middle. Rogers made a 12 yard catch over the middle with the Texans defending the sidelines just before halftime.
|TE Eric Ebron, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 26 - 1 (6 targets)|
was not overly involved in the offense but he could have still had a big game. Ebron dropped a potential touchdown and narrowly missed on a deep sideline catch. Ebron ran a quick out route and got open thanks to a rub route for an easy 6 yard touchdown. Ebron made a 5 yard catch running a crossing route on 3rd and 4. Ebron made a 15 yard catch running an in breaking route from the slot. Ebron dropped what should have been an 18 yard touchdown. Ebron was hit on the play but should have caught the pass and was frustrated with himself. Ebron just missed on a big play when he could not get his second foot in bounds on a deep sideline throw from Luck.
|QB Deshaun Watson, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 49 - 235 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 8 - 76 - 0|
had two poor regular season games and in his first playoff appearance his third arrived at the worst time. Only completing 59.2% of his passes, Watson was wildly inaccurate with high and low passed to his targets. It was unlike him and it put the Texans in a hole with how poor he was throwing the football. Watson did run for 76 yards on their designed read option game but it was not enough. Watson threw a costly interception on a key 4th-down play in the middle of the field into double coverage despite having other targets open. He missed DeAndre Hopkins
wide open in the end zone with a pass that was no where close and for the most part, Watson was protected well all game. He did have a bright spot hitting Keke Coutee
on a 6-yard touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter. He was not helped out with rookie Vyncint Smith
not hauling in a deep ball to open the game where he dropped it. It is a game that Watson would soon like to forget but it was an ugly day for the talented young quarterback.
|RB Lamar Miller, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 18 - 0, Rec: 8 - 63 - 0 (10 targets)|
The Texans running game has been a mess for the final month of the season and Saturday night was no exception. Miller only rushed for 18-yards and his longest run was only 8 yards. He did help out in the passing game hauling in 8 catches for 63 yards with his longest catch of 12 yards. Will the Colts packing the intermediate to deep routes with coverage, Miller was open to catch whatever he wanted as Watson’s check downs.
|WR Keke Coutee, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 110 - 1 (14 targets)|
The Texans waited nearly two months to get the rookie back on the field and Keke Coutee
did not disappoint. Coutee put up 11 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown reception came on a 6-yard dump off where he raced the defender to the pylon and dove with the ball in his right hand for a touchdown. Coutee also added a 20-yard catch and run which appears to be on his biggest strengths as a receiver. He did damage with crossing routes and check downs when he was in motion but it is clear that he is one of Watson’s favorite targets on the field.
had a grade-3 AC join sprain that he suffered late in the second half and forced his production to plummet on Saturday. Hopkins caught 5 passes for only 37 yards with his longest reception going for 13 yard. Hopkins went into the locker room at half time with trainers but did not do much in the second half. He did have an opportunity for a touchdown but a poor pass from Deshaun Watson
no where close to him gave a wide-open Hopkins little opportunity. It was a disappointing end to the season for Hopkins but an inaccurate Watson and his shoulder injury were the biggest culprits.