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What we learned: Colts vs. Texans

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts head into their Week 14 bye with a 31-0 victory over the Houston Texans.

With such a dominant performance, this week’s ‘what we learned’ will be a bit different.

Here are my two big takeaways from Sunday’s shutout performance against the Texans.

  • Colts’ defense pitches first road shutout since 1992

Indy’s defense pitched its first road shutout since 1992, and it all started with cornerback Kenny Moore II's interception on the Texans’ very first offensive play. From that point forward, Houston struggled to move the ball for the entirety of the game, and their offense failed to reach Colts territory until there were 43 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.

Houston’s wide receivers were also kept in check for the majority of the game, as the Colts’ secondary didn’t surrender a single catch to any Texans’ receiver until late into the second half.

Additionally, Kemoko Turay and Al Quadin-Muhammad accumulated two sacks each between quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills, and they helped Indy’s defensive line apply consistent pressure all game long.

  • Colts very much alive in playoff race

Now 7-6 on the season, the Colts are still in the thick of the AFC playoff race. With Indy being on a bye week, they’re going to need some help from a few different teams this weekend — including the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — but could be the seventh seed by the end of Sunday.

After taking care of business against Houston, Indy’s remaining schedule features two big-time matchups against playoff teams in the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals. Of the team’s four remaining games (New England, Arizona, Las Vegas, Jacksonville), going 3-1 would likely be Indy’s best-case scenario, as that would give them a final record of 10-7 and put them firmly in the playoff picture.

We’ve seen this team string together several really strong wins over a month. Now we’ll have to see if the Colts are capable of passing some of their biggest tests, and if they can go 3-1 over the next four games as they try to make the playoffs for a second season in a row.