Despite their ineffectiveness, the Texans had four plays at the Colts 7-yard line to win the game, but they failed to get into the end zone. With 42 seconds to go in the game, quarterback Tom Savage found DeAndre Hopkins for 10-yards to the Colts’ 7-yard line. On first and goal with 18 seconds to go, Savage’s pass to Bruce Ellington was short. On second down, Savage targeted tight end Stephen Anderson, but the pass was again short. With 7 seconds to go, Savage went to Hopkins over the middle, but the pass was incomplete as Colts’ cornerback Nate Hairston had a grasp on Hopkins for the entire route. No penalty was called, and the Texans had two seconds and one play left. On the last play, while Savage was looking for a receiver, defensive tackle Jabaal Sheard sacked him, causing a fumble and the Colts celebrated their third victory of the season.
“We got a drive there at the end and we got enough opportunities and just couldn’t put it in,” Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien said. “We called every red area play we had and just couldn’t get it done. So, we have to go back to the drawing board.”
When asked about time management at the end of the game, O’Brien said, “Yeah, we had one timeout left in the game, so there’s no doubt, everybody’s got to be faster, get the call in as fast as we can, and we have to get lined up faster. But, again, like I always say, I have to coach better. It starts with me and goes from there. But, in that situation, you’re saving that timeout for a key fourth-down call. That’s what you’re saving the timeout for, so I really don’t want to hear any B.S. about clock management. I really don’t want to hear it this week. He (Tom Savage) tried to do the best he could. We got lined up as fast as we could. We’ve practiced two minute (situations) every week and we just didn’t get it done.”
The Colts opened the scoring when T.Y. Hilton raced past the Texans’ secondary and caught a 45-yard pass from Jacoby Brissett. The Colts added to their lead when Adam Vinatieri kicked a 22-yard field goal. The Texans’ defense scored when Brissett fumbled when he was sacked by Eddie Pleasant and Lamarr Houston scooped up the fumble and returned it 34-yards for a touchdown, making the halftime score 10-7.
In the third quarter, Hilton caught a pass from Bissett and raced down the field. As he was about to be tackled around the 25-yard line, Hilton dived over the tackler, laid on the ground as another Texan ran by him thinking he was down, and then got up and ran into the end zone for a touchdown to make the score 17-7.
“Yeah, he’s a great player, got great speed. He’s a go-to guy. He’s made a lot of plays for a lot of years for them,” O’Brien said. “He’s a great player.”
After another Vinatieri field goal, Savage found Hopkins on a 34-yard scoring pass to make the score 20-14 and set the stage for the final seconds.
Frank Gore led the Colts in rushing with 51 yards on 17 carries. Brissett completed 20 of 30 passes for 308 yards andtwo touchdowns. His quarterback rating was 122.6. Hilton had 175 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Colts had 371 yards of total offense.
For the Texans, Hopkins caught six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, and Lamar Miller carried the ball 10 times for 57 yards for the Texans. Savage completed 19 of 44 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback rating was 66.4.
“The most frustrating part of it is the fact that there’s nothing they were doing that we weren’t prepared for. The coaches did a great job coaching us up. It’s probably the most frustrating game of my life,” Savage said. “It’s just one of those deals that I just wasn’t making the throws and guys were open. I’m not going to give you the politically correct answer and say like blah, blah, blah, we can get better. No, I have to make the throws. I played like crap. That’s what it is.”
The Texans will travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams on Nov. 12. They return to NRG Stadium on Nov. 19 to host the Arizona Cardinals.