Indianapolis started their first offensive drive with two Frank Gore runs to setup a third and medium. Brissett targeted T.Y. Hilton on a flag route that would have likely gone for a touchdown but the ball sailed over his head. It was clear on the replay that Texans corner Johnathan Joseph held Hilton as he was coming out of his break and likely hurt his timing to make the reception. The result is back-to-back holds on Hilton’s last two targets going back to the final Colts offensive play in Baltimore.
Houston used Alfred Blue and Will Fuller heavily in their first possession in order to get the ball into field goal range. The attempt was good and put the Texans up 3-0.
Indianapolis followed the same blueprint by leaning heavily on their biggest targets. Frank Gore, T.Y. Hilton, and Jack Doyle all played important roles in catching passes, getting first downs, and ultimately getting the ball into the end zone. It is worth noting that Chester Rogers also made a very nice grab as he was heading out of bounds for a nice gain. Brissett’s throw to Doyle in the red zone and an extra point by Adam Vinatieri put the Colts up 7-3 early in the second quarter.
On Houston’s second drive, the defense was able to force them into a 3rd and 4 situation and even got a nice stop from rookie corner Nate Hairston. This was nullified by an off-sides penalty on Barkeviuos Mingo for a first down. A pass interference penalty on rookie corner Quincy Wilson gave Houston another first down on the drive. One positive is that Kenny Moore made a nice play when he batted down a pass that was intended for rookie wide receiver Chris Thompson.
After moving the ball down the field with some passes and Colts penalties, the Texans put the ball back into Alfred Blue’s hands to move deep into the red zone. With no pass rush coming on 1st down from the 11 yard line, T.J. Yates hit his full back to get the ball down for the two yard line. Alfred Blue carried the ball into the end zone on the next play. The extra point put the Texans back on top 10-7.
After a solid drive for a touchdown on the last possession, Jacoby Brissett struggled with accuracy on the third offensive drive of the game. This resulted in three and out and a 47-yard Rigoberto Sanchez punt that gave the Texans a long field, starting their drive at their own 14 yard-line.
The Texans third possession started with another gift from the Colts defense, as defensive lineman Hassan Ridgeway was called for defensive holding, giving Houston a first down. After recovering and pushing the Texans into a third and long situation, a long pass down the right sideline with Chris Milton in coverage gave T.J. Yates a big play and a first down in Colts territory. The defense was able to keep Houston out of the end zone but not good enough to keep them out of field goal range. A second boot extended the Houston lead to 13-7.
On the final Colts drive of the first half the struggles continued. A dump-off pass to Marlon Mack lost a yard. A horrific excuse for a chip on a Texans defensive lineman resulted in a throw away. A Brissett scramble only picked up a couple of yards and forced another punt after a second consecutive three-and-out.
Houston was satisfied to take the final possession of the first half to run the ball with Lamar Miller and keep the clock moving. A the half, the Texans lead 13-7.