It looked like the Indianapolis Colts were headed for yet another season-opening loss, as they trailed the Houston Texans 20-3 late in the third quarter.
In what feels like true Colts fashion, they managed to snap their eight-game losing streak in ... by tying with the Texans 20-20.
HORRENDOUS OFFENSIVE EXECUTION PUTS COLTS BEHIND EARLY:
Through much of the first three quarters, Indianapolis’ offense struggled to hold onto the football with multiple self-inflicting turnovers, which ultimately led to zero points in both the second and third quarter.
Indianapolis found themselves in Houston territory on most of their drives but just simply couldn’t finish with touchdowns. Houston looked far more prepared early while the Colts weren’t able to get out of their own way through two quarters.
Ultimately, the Colts deserve some credit for managing to tie the game late, but they’ve got to their offensive miscues under control ahead of their Week 2 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
KICKING INCONSISTENCIES COST COLTS CHANCE AT VICTORY:
The Colts had beaten themselves through nearly three quarters until a late-game rally from veteran quarterback Matt Ryan — led by two of the team’s offensive stars in running back Jonathan Taylor (161 rushing yards on 31 carries and 1 touchdown) and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (9 receptions for 121 yards and 1 touchdown) — brought Indianapolis all the way back to tie the game at 20.
Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship had his fair share of miscues, giving the Texans solid field position at their own 40 after two kickoffs landed out of bounds. Although Indy’s defense managed to hold Houston, those kind of plays aren’t what you want to see from your kicker.
After a key stop from the defense in overtime, the Colts moved down the field and set kicker Rodrigo Blankenship up for the potential game-winning field goal from 42 yards and he missed badly.
Blankenship was far too inconsistent than the Colts in the moments that mattered, and that cannot happen going forward.
COLTS WEAPONS/DEFENSE MUST BE MORE CONSISTENT:
Aside from Michael Pittman Jr., the Colts’ playmakers struggled at times. Both Ashton Dulin and rookie Alec Pierce had drops in the red zone that could’ve completely shifted the outcome of the game.
The same can be said for the defense. Indianapolis managed three sacks — two from second-year defensive end Kwity Paye and a strip-sack by linebacker E.J. Speed — playing a pivotal role in the Colts’ late-game rally. But there were instances where Indy’s defense looked lost, which is partially why they down 20-3 early.
Both the receivers and the defensive playmakers must be more consistent moving forward. Too many changes were made for either group to make the sloppy mistakes they did Sunday.