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Week 12 Game Balls: Williams and Moore Stand Out, But Colts Sputter Against Texans

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts fell to the Houston Texans 20-17 in a close, but certainly not well played game by the boys in Horseshoe Blue.

While the Colts once again relied heavily on their efficient ground game, the lack of big passing plays is currently holding the offense back—and the team as a whole.

On Thursday night, the Colts longest completed pass was 14 yards, and their average yards per pass was 4.7 yards per pass compared to the Texans 9.6 respectively.

Overall, the Colts offense finished with just 121 total passing yards.

Still, the Colts defense—while it played generally well is not completely blameless.

With just under two minutes in the second half, the Colts secondary inexplicably blew a coverage assignment against Texans All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who caught a shockingly wide open 35-yard touchdown pass.

That just can’t happen.

It wasn’t the only deep pass the Colts secondary surprisingly surrendered either, who had a very out of character performance in that regard.

As such, the Colts are no longer in the driver’s seat in the AFC South, as the Texans have taken sole possession of first place.

Thankfully, there’s still some football left to be played, but it’s with great sadness that I present this week’s game balls:

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Williams

Did the Colts probably rely too heavily on Williams in the first half?

Arguably, as the 4th-year running back had a total of 15 touches after two quarters of play—including 13 rushing attempts and 2 receptions—with at one point, little to show for it.

However, Williams ultimately finished with 104 total rushing yards on 26 carries (4.0 ypc avg)—including this impressive 13-yard touchdown run around midway through the third quarter in which the young running back didn’t give up on the play, kept churning his legs, and cut it outside—somehow escaping to pay dirt:

Williams may not be mistaken for his teammate Nyheim Hines as far as burst and acceleration, but he runs tough, he runs hard, and is fundamentally solid—even if he’s not spectacular as a runner.

As the Colts “fourth-string running back”—only just a few weeks ago, he’s a pretty good backup plan that the offense can call upon in its backfield in the wake of Marlon Mack’s hand injury.

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him remain the featured back until Mack comes back—even when fellow running back Jordan Wilkins is actually ready to run (who could serve more as a complementary change-of-pace back).

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Moore

The Colts star slot cornerback had the biggest play of the evening for the Colts defense, deflecting a tipped (via Jabaal Sheard) Deshaun Watson pass to himself for an interception with around 8 minutes left in the second quarter:

Moore’s interception helped set up a Jacoby Brissett 5-yard touchdown run.

Can he cover? Yes.

Can he tackle? Yes. (He might be the best tackling cornerback I’ve seen since former Buffalo Bills’ All-Pro Antoine Winfield).

Can he blitz? Yes.

Sure, Moore might’ve given up a big pass reception in this one to the Texans speedy wide receiver, Will Fuller.

Which Colts cornerback didn’t?

However, Moore is consistently one of the top playmakers on this Colts defense and consequently, one of the unit’s best players.

He was overall, very good once again on Thursday night.

Moore finished with 8 tackles (5 solo), a pass defensed, and a QB hit.

It’s just a shame it came in a losing effort.