Osweiler leads comeback to send Texans past Colts

Print
  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
More Columns >

Brock Osweiler rebounded from a poor start to lead three consecutive scoring drives and Nick Novak kicked a 33-yard field goal in overtime to send the Houston Texans (4-2) past the Indianapolis Colts (2-4), 26-23.

1. In regards to Brock Osweiler's viability as a franchise quarterback, his performance on Sunday night will prove to be the definitive case study. The $72-million man was consistently off-target through three quarters, missing DeAndre Hopkins high, low and everywhere in between to start the contest. When the Colts' pass rushers closed in early, his footwork remained sloppy and slow. Osweiler's third-quarter interception inside the Texans' own 20-yard line following a Colts turnover on downs wasn't just a combination of a poor decision and execution; it was inexcusable.

However, Brocktober struck with the start of the fourth quarter, as Osweiler redeemed himself with three consecutive scoring drives to end the game, including a six-play game-winning drive in overtime capped by a picture-perfect 36-yard sideline bomb to Jaelen Strong. In a tale of two halves, all that anyone will remember is Osweiler's late-game heroics. The question is why he can't play like that for a full 60 minutes.

2. With Osweiler struggling to find open receivers, Lamar Miller finally had his breakout game as a Texan. The running back, who came to Houston in the offseason as part of an offensive overhaul in the backfield, had regressed through five games, totaling just 24 total yards against Minnesota last week. Miller found refuge in the Colts' run defense on Sunday night, gashing Indianapolis for 149 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. The dual-threat back kept the pressure off his quarterback, bursting through the left side of his offensive line on counters and being a vital target on short passes out of the backfield. The highlight of his night was a brilliant cutback touchdown catch-and-run, on which he evaded three Colts defenders who had closed in on him and cut Indy's lead to seven late in the game.

3. The Colts' offensive line held Houston's pass rushers at bay for three quarters, but disintegrated as the clock ticked away. Luck (21/32, 252 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) looked in control in and out of the pocket early, connecting with his tight ends and rushing for productive yardage on broken plays, including a 14-yard touchdown run in the fourth that looked to be a game-winner. However, Luck was sacked three times in the final 20 minutes as the Texans mounted their comeback and grew more desperate. The quarterback evaded every Texan not named Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus for most of the night, but while his counterpart improved as the game wore on, Luck and his line crumbled under the pressure.

4. Frank Gore makes history. That's his thing. One week after passing the esteemed Jim Brown on the all-time rushing list, Gore broke Indy's 55-game streak without a 100-yard rusher with a 106-yard showing in Houston. You hear that, Vick Ballard? Pop the champagne! Indy has a ground game!

5. With Donte Moncrief injured and Phillip Dorsett struggling and succumbing to injury, Luck turned to newcomer Chester Rogers for chunk yardage as the game wore on. The rookie out of Grambling was Luck's top target on the evening, securing four catches on four targets for 63 yards. If Moncrief and Dorsett's injuries persist, Rogers will be a fine replacement.

6. Houston's 14-point fourth-quarter comeback kept the Texans atop the AFC South and reshaped the hierarchy of the division. Instead of slumping into a three-way 3-3 tie at the top of the South, Houston now puts itself a game ahead of Tennessee and Jacksonville in the loss column and sends Indy back down to the cellar.

Print