The Indianapolis Colts dropped to 9-5 today after losing in Houston 29-17 to the Texans. The Texans have now clinched the AFC South for the second time in as many years. The Colts still only need one win to get into the playoffs, and with Kansas City up next week they really could get it.
The defense actually played well today. They allowed only 22 points to the Texans offense and held them to only one offensive touchdown. The other touchdown came from a blocked punt. The offense was the unit that hurt the Colts today. They just had too many mistakes to overcome. Mewelde Moore fumbling at the one yard line. A Reggie Wayne touchdown catch being overturned. You could even go to special teams and the blocked punt - which was awful. Dwayne Allen completely whiffed on a block, leading to the punt being blocked.
Let's look at some notes from today's game:
- Bruce Arians had his worst game coaching the Colts today. The playcalling was bad all day and he also got a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on him. While I am not too upset against the penalty, it certainly didn't help the team. He has to maintain his composure.
- Mewelde Moore is absolutely terrible. This should be his last game with the Colts (will it be? I don't know, but I doubt it). He was bad all game. At everything. He was the one that fumbled at the one yard line. Why Vick Ballard wasn't in there on that play, I don't know. Bad coaching, I guess. But it was obvious today on that play that the Colts really miss Delone Carter. He has been a very good short yardage back this year, and then his replacement fumbles at the goal line. Inexcusable.
- Reggie Wayne made an incredible snag on a high throw in the back of the end zone on the following possession, but it was called back due to offsetting penalties. So the Houston guy jumps offsides and the Colts try to block him and get called for holding - why are the Colts punished? And offsetting penalties and a replay down seems like a steep price to pay for that, considering it would have been a much needed touchdown.
- Vick Ballard had his best game of the year for the Colts. He carried the ball 18 times for 105 yards, an average of 5.8 yards per carry. He continues to improve in every game this year and his vision has gotten a ton better. This was his first career 100 yard game, but he figures to have many more.
- Andrew Luck wasn't as bad today as some people will make it seem. Yeah, he threw high and was inaccurate often, but his offensive line gave him absolutely no help. Luck was sacked 5 times today (a season high) and was hit and pressured countless others. He made some nice plays and did not turn it over. That said, there is something not right about him. His accuracy has regressed and he has struggled recently. Some think it may be his knee injury that has him listed on the injury report. Others think that he is forcing the ball and trying to do too much. I'm not sure what it is, but something isn't right about Luck. Hopefully he gets that fixed soon, because I do know this - if Andrew Luck doesn't play well, the Colts have a zero percent chance of winning a playoff game.
- Short note on J.J. Watt - he's incredible. What a player. There aren't many people that Andrew Luck just can't run away from that we have seen this year. Watt was one of them. He had 3 of the Texans' 5 sacks and made many other big plays. He deserves to win the defensive player of the year award.
- Both Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis had a sack today. That is the third time this year that has happened - and in every game Freeney has a sack, Mathis has one also (for the season Freeney has 3 and Mathis has 7). Antoine Bethea also added another sack today for the Colts.
- Unfortunately for Anthony Castonzo, he gets lumped into this awful Colts offensive line. While the unit as a whole has been putrid, Castonzo himself has been very good. He is the Colts best run and pass blocker. He deserves some credit.
- I continue to be unimpressed with Antoine Bethea. He missed some plays today that he definitely should make. That has happened too often this season.
- As mentioned earlier, the Colts only need one win to clinch a playoff spot. With a trip to Kansas City to play the Chiefs next week and then at home against the Texans, I think the Colts win both and get to 11-5. But ultimately, all they need is one win. And that should come next week.