The Colts held on for a 33-28 victory over the 3-3 Texans, their tenth straight victory in the division and fourth win overall. Watt is a great talent playing at a level that few defenders have ever achieved. But the Colts have a chance to develop into a great team, and they have made significant strides over the last month.
Perhaps Watt's greatest feat this season was gifting us a wildly entertaining TNF game when it looked like another blowout. The Colts led 24-0 after one quarter, and had outgained Houston 218 yards to two. Watt subsequently began to stop drives cold, stuffing three running plays behind the line of scrimmage, hitting Luck four times, knocking down three passes, racking up two sacks and returning a fumble for a touchdown to make it a one-possession game in the fourth quarter. We haven't seen a defensive player take over games like this since Lawrence Taylor, and Watt hasn't slowed down. He's the best player in the league and it's not close. This Texans defense isn't even particularly good other than Watt.
Houston's big-name secondary was exposed yet again in this game by Luck and T.Y. Hilton, who finished with 223 yards on nine grabs. Luck's innate, insane feel for the pocket extended plays all night, and he made a number of gorgeous throws down the field to Hilton. Luck also threw a few passes up for grabs and lost a fumble on a shotgun snap in the fourth quarter that Watt took to the house. The Colts' offense can run hot and cold, and they struggled to move the ball after intermission. That's what happens when Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson average 2.7 yards-per-carry.
Houston's running game had no such problem. Arian Foster (141 yards from scrimmage) is running as well as anyone outside of Dallas, and helped to lead a ferocious Texans comeback. Ryan Fitzpatrick also threw the ball very well most of the night before losing a fumble on a Bjorn Werner sack to close out the game.
Ultimately, it felt like the game was played at a lower volume when Luck and Watt weren't on the field. Let's do this again in Week 15, and then enjoy watching the two best young players in football face off twice a year for the next decade.