The Indianapolis Colts (1-3) fell to their divisional rival Houston Texans (1-3) in overtime Sunday afternoon as they lost their second straight one-score game in as many weeks. We did see Andrew Luck get back in the swing of things with a 464-yard passing day, adding 4 touchdowns after his less-than-stellar Week 3 performance that drew so much ire in regards to the lack of any downfield passing attack.
The reality in this game is that the Colts dug themselves such a massive hole in the first half that it made this comeback quite improbably to begin with. The part that hurts the most is that they did indeed comeback to take the lead on a 13-play scoring drive on the first possession of OT, but still couldn’t get it done in the end.
Win or lose, the Colts had some players with great performances that deserve some game balls for their effort.
A lot of what Hines did Sunday was earned off the arm of Andrew Luck, given that he only rushed for 10 yards on 4 carries. However, Hines certainly came through as a weapon in the passing game. Hines caught 9 balls for 63 yards, and tallied 2 touchdowns on the day.
Hines first score of the day came midway through the third quarter which closed the scoring gap for the Colts from 28-10 to 28-17. It wasn’t just a catch, though, it was a catch in a way not many would expect to see Hines making. Hauling in a 50-50 ball over the arms of Tyrann Matthieu is not how many are guessing to see Hines snatch a touchdown out of the air as if he was a big-bodied receiver.
He did, though, and he got both feet in bounds in a pivotal position in the game.
Hines second score of the game was equally important, just not quite as acrobatic. With less than a minute to go in regulation, Hines hauled in low bullet at about the 1-yard line and backpedaled into the end zone with just 0:45 left in the fourth quarter and pulled the Colts within 2 points.
Hines has apparently gotten over his hands issue that he was facing in the preseason, and he’s been a nice option for Luck to go to in virtually any area of the field. Other notable performances that could be argued for their own game ball would be Luck, T.Y. Hilton (4 catches, 113 receiving yards), Zach Pascal (6 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown) or maybe even Eric Ebron (5 catches for 40 yards, TD), though you can make the point that he should have had closer to 100 yards, but couldn’t hang on to some crucial passes thrown his way.
Quite honestly it was just nice to see Autry back on the field today. He didn’t have Darius Leonard’s tackling production or anything like that, and he didn’t dominate throughout the day necessarily either. On the other hand, Autry picked up 9 total tackles, 4 for loss, and sacked Deshaun Watson twice as well.
Even though Margus Hunt also notched a sack, Autry kind of took over the production for the defensive line just as Hunt has recently. Autry was also a good part of the pressure that forced Watson out of the pocket so many times on Sunday.
The Colts defensive line was responsible for 5 of the team’s 7 sacks on the day and is becoming a group that is going to have to be game-planned for as the year continues. The beauty of it is that it seems to be a group effort each and every week rather than a couple guys being the defined pass rushers relied upon to turn the tide each week.
You could make a real argument for Darius Leonard (13 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL), or maybe even Anthony Walker (10 total tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack) or possibly a couple other guys as well. For his first game back, Autry got the nod from me today.
Honestly, who else could this have been today? Vinatieri was 2-for-2 on Sunday from 42, and 44 yards respectively. But, it was Vinny’s first field goal of the day that drew all of the attention. Vinatieri became the sole owner of the most regular season field goals (566) in NFL history.
That first field goal came right before halftime which began the Colts slowly starting to inch their way back into this game at 10-21. His second on the day came as the team was threatening to take the lead for the first time in the game, and that’s exactly what his kick did for the Colts.
With exactly 6 minutes left in OT, Vinatieri booted one through the uprights to give the Colts the 34-31 and looked as though it could be enough to pull out a win for this young Colts roster. Vinny has already made a large impact in the Colts season with 8 field goals on the season.