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Colts Report Card: Grading the offensive performance against Texans in week 4

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Passing Offense: B+

Andrew Luck was Andrew Luck, as expected, against the Texans — and it was a type of game fans could breathe a sigh of relief after seeing the quarterback launch a ball 54 yards to the end-zone at the end of the first half.

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

But the Colts’ passing attack showed that it was more than just dink and dunk. While Luck connected on many throws that were between 0-8 yards, that was to be expected because of the fact Luck needed to get the ball out of his hands quickly to avoid being sacked by JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.

Luck finished with a career-high in passing yards with 464, and that number should’ve been higher if not for all the drops his wide receivers and tight ends endured throughout the course of the game.

Another bright spot of the offense was the emergence of running back Nyheim Hines, who tallied a team-high with nine catches that went for 63 yards and two touchdowns. This was a huge part of the offense because of the fact the Colts struggled to get any sort of run-game going. Hines’ play from the backfield was an extension of the ground attack, and if the offense can’t get any rushing attack moving then Hines is expected to see an even high workload.

While he didn’t finish the game, T.Y. Hilton found his stride and ended his day with 115 yards on four catches. He’s expected to be out against the Patriots on Thursday, but moving forward his performance against the Texans was a good sign. Another good sign came in the second half from other wide receivers. Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers, and Ryan Grant combined for 19 catches and 204 yards. It was a sight to see after the abysmal first half. Those three will be critical with Hilton expected to be sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The play-calling was up and down at times, including at the end of the game. Reich’s choice to go for it on 4th down from the Indianapolis 43-yard-line with less than 30 seconds left in overtime gifted the Texans a great chance at a field goal.

Reich went for the win, and that’s a testament to his aggressive play-calling.

“We’re not playing to tie. We’re going for it 10 times out of 10,” Reich said after the game, per Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star.

Rushing Offense: F

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

The Colts rank 29th in the league in rushing at 72.4 yards a game, and that number was even lower against the Texans — due to numerous reasons.

Indianapolis finished with 41 yards on the ground, but that was in large part to the offensive line struggling to get off the ball and the team falling behind 18 points, forcing Frank Reich to call more pass plays.

The leading rusher on the afternoon was Jordan Wilkins, who finished with just eight touches for 16 yards. The longest rush for the game (seven yards) came from three different rushers — Luck, Wilkins, and Hines.

The Colts need to find some sort of ground game to keep Luck from getting hit on every single possession. For the most part, the offensive line is holding up for as many dropbacks they have to endure. While Hines catching balls out of the backfield is an extension of the ground game, Reich needs to figure some way to get that aspect of the field moving.