I don't know about the rest of you, but I had a great time watching the first quarter of last night's game. Of course, as the game wore on, my joy from that opening period slowly deteriorated. As the Houston Texans crawled back into the game, I was genuinely worried the Colts would lose.
Fortunately, they didn't. Indy escaped Houston with a 33-28 road win, and are all alone atop the AFC South. As always, I've got some awards to hand out from the game.
MVP/Offensive MVP - T.Y. Hilton - We've all been waiting for this game from Hilton. After a fairly quiet first five games of the season, Hilton exploded onto the scene last night. Nine catches for 223 yards and a score is not a bad day at the office. Most of Hilton's damage came in the first quarter, where we was over 100 yards after three catches.
Realistically, Hilton should have had about five more yards and another touchdown. Apparently, though, having the defender's thigh graze your foot counts as a tackle nowadays. I know it was the right call, but it just seems wrong that incidental contact causes a player to be down. Oh well, the Colts scored anyway.
What I thought was the best about Hilton's game, though, was that he was the go-to-guy on most third down plays. Normally Andrew Luck feeds Reggie Wayne on third down, but Hilton saw a lot more of that action last night. And there's nothing wrong with that. It just shows how great of a game Hilton was having.
Defensive MVP - Ricky Jean Francois - I almost skipped giving this award out, because the defense really wasn't that good. A team finally threw at Vontae Davis, and it worked for the most part. A team finally had a 100 yard rusher against the Colts. And Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Texans to 21 offensive points. So, no, the defense didn't play well.
I give this to Francois because I saw him be disruptive on a line that was being gashed most of the night, especially late in the game. He also added a sack, and had a few run stuffs along the way. For the most part, Francois has played well this season, and he was a slightly brighter glimmer than the rest of the defense last night.
To be fair, D'Qwell Jackson had a good game as well, probably his best game as a Colt. He gets honorable mention for this award.
Beast Mode Award - J.J. Watt - Oh my goodness. Watt very nearly willed the Texans back to victory. It seemed like every time the team needed a play, Watt came through for Houston. Seven tackles, two sacks, three batted balls, and a fumble return for a touchdown.
Easily the best defensive player in the league, and I don't think it's close, Watt made his presence felt, as we all thought he would.
Individuality Award - Pat McAfee - McAfee literally had one play where he did everything himself. You all know that I'm talking about the perfect onside kick. McAfee just kicked the ball ten yards, and ran to recover it himself.
A note, he did this 4 years ago in Houston as well in a comeback attempt, and he recovered. However, the play was called back since the Texans called a timeout right before the play.
Since this is the second time the Colts have done a surprise onside kick, I believe it is entirely McAfee's decision to do this. He probably has the green light, where if he sees a certain formation he can do an onside kick. Overall, I've never seen a punter be this kind of weapon for a team before.
Jim Caldwell Clock Management Award - Chuck Pagano - What exactly was Pagano thinking at the end of the first half? Forty seconds left, better let the clock run. Oh wait, we could get the ball back, better call timeout with three seconds left. That had to be his thought process right?
With 40 seconds, Luck could have probably gotten the Colts into field goal range, at least. With three seconds, I'm not sure what they could do. Block a punt and hope you score on the same play? Seems like a long shot to me.
LVP - Mike Carey and the Zebras - Holy buckets. What football game were these guys watching? Let's start with the Carey shall we? Since when does a player catch, turn up field, and take three steps result in an incomplete pass. In Carey's world, that's a no-brainer.
Words can't express how angry I would have been if the refs on the field had read the Mike Carey book of officiating.
But speaking of the refs. They were sub-par as well. Pick your play where a bad call was made. No horse-collar on Hilton, the phantom pass interference on the Texans. Wayne's catch that wasn't. There were others, I just can't think of them right now.
At the end of the day, though, the Colts won, and that's what matters. Now the team had 10 days to prepare for a very tough match-up against the Bengals.