Weeden leads Texans to division lead in win over Colts

The Houston Texans won in Indianapolis for the first time in franchise history (1-13 historically). Brandon Weeden led the Texans out of a 10-point hole to win 16-10 in a sloppy pillow fight over the Colts. At 7-7, the Texans took the lead in the AFC South over the 6-8 Colts. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Brandon Weeden is in a playoff race! The perennial backup entered late in the first half after T.J. Yates suffered a torn ACL. Weeden led the Texans to all 16 of their points in a win that gives Houston the lead in the AFC South race. The quarterback made some wayward throws well off the mark, but avoided backbreaking errors and moved the offense in the fourth quarter. After early miscommunications with DeAndre Hopkins, the duo was able to connect for 36 yards on three crucial passes on the go-ahead TD drive -- a Colts pass interference also played a big part. It's the second-straight season coach Bill O'Brien was forced to play four quarterbacks (Weeden, Yates, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett). Throughout his career, Weeden has been much better in relief than as a starter. The Texans hope Hoyer (concussion) can return next week. After being cut by the Cowboys last month, Weeden did a solid job leading the Texans into playoff position.
  1. Matt Hasselbeck gutted out the game, but his rib injury was clearly a problem for a hamstrung Colts offense -- he left briefly in the fourth quarter after taking a massive hit. In the first half, the Colts started drives at the Texans' 42, 47 and 35-yard lines and one at their own 47. They earned 10 points out of those possessions. In the second half they did next to nothing to move the ball and ended the game with 190 total yards. The Colts can't block for Frank Gore, who averaged a piddling 2.8 yards per carry. The dink-and-dunk strategy with a banged-up quarterback isn't sustainable. The Colts didn't threaten down the field at all. Kudos to Hasselbeck, whose first-half TD pass tied Terry Bradshaw and Y.A. Tittle for the 30th in NFL history (212). The 40-year-old battled, but this offense is anemic.

Quan Bray's punt returns were the most exciting aspect of the game for the Colts.

  1. O'Brien's squad has huge holes, but the Texans are in position to win the AFC South. Despite starting the game with two turnovers on their first two drives, the Texans battled back for the pole position with two games remaining. Now with a full game lead over the Colts, Houston has games against the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars remaining. With their defense shutting down opposing offenses, the Texans should be favorites to win the division regardless of who is under center.

The loss is disastrous for Chuck Pagano and the Colts. Indy now needs to win at Miami, versus the Titans and get some help to overcome the Texans to win the division. Each loss brings us closer and closer to the end of the Pagano era.

  1. DeAndre Hopkins took a while to get going, but the go-to receiver heated up in the fourth quarter on the Texans' go-ahead drive, snagging three passes for 36 yards on the TD drive. Vontae Davis thwarted Hopkins for much of the first three quarters, including snagging an interception on the first drive of the game -- the receiver's longest reception of the game came against Darius Butler. Hopkins, however, picked up two pass interference calls against Davis and finished with eight catches for 94 yards. Hopkins will need to be a crutch down the stretch and into the playoffs, especially if Weeden remains under center.
  1. Alfred Blue provided a spark with 107 yards on 20 carries. It's the best the back has looked in weeks. We'd still like to see the Texans get the ball in rookie Akeem Hunt's hands more. He's clearly the Texans' fastest runner and has the most wiggle of any of the cornucopia of backs O'Brien deploys.
  1. Whitney Mercilus continued his beastly play. The pass-rusher compiled a sack and two quarterback hits, including a massive one that knocked Hasselbeck from the game briefly. A combination of a quick passing attack, multiple blockers on every snap and a broken hand kept J.J. Watt relatively quiet, again. The reigning DPOY had one QB hit and zero sacks. It marked the first time since 2013 Watt has gone three straight games sans a sack.
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content