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Week 2 Colts vs. Texans Highlights: wins always feel good

The best plays from week 2

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Week two is in the books and our Indianapolis Colts have won their first game of the season against the Houston Texans. This week the result was exactly what we all wanted but there were some bumps in the road along the way. First and foremost, more than the win, the most important thing is the health of quarterback Anthony Richardson who suffered a concussion on his second rushing touchdown of the first quarter.

We’ll look at this weeks best plays and take a look at the play Richardson was hurt on to see if there was anything he could have done differently to protect himself going forward. Let’s get into it.

First Quarter

The first drive was a thing of beauty

The Colts started the game with a 10 play, 75 yard drive that ate up 4:16 of game time. Richardson hit five different receivers on the drive moving methodically down the field before finishing it off himself:

It’s just a quarterback draw. The offensive line blocks it up well and Richardson hits his hole, but that acceleration isn’t something Colts fans have seen from the QB position before. He made this run look easy.

Then it was time to play defense

This highlight doesn’t do a great job showing it but after Samson Ebukam wrapped up C.J. Stroud, Dayo Odeyingbo punched at the football, forcing a fumble that was immediately recovered by Kwity Paye. After a review showed that, that was in fact, what happened the Colts took over and this happened on the very next play:

Being up two touchdowns against a division rival, on the road in the second game of the year, six minutes into the game is a pretty great feeling. That said this was the play that Anthony Richardson was hurt. So what’s the answer to not have that happen?

I’ve seen a lot of people say that this is just the risk you take with a mobile quarterback. That he’s just going to take hits and miss time. While there is some inherent truth to the idea that quarterbacks who spend a lot of their time running with the ball, get tackled while doing so, I don’t know that’s the case on this play.

First you don’t draft a 250 pound quarterback who runs a 4.4 second 40 yard dash and then just not use the advantage that gives you. So the answer isn’t “just stop calling designed runs for the QB” that’s silly. The answer is that this is a teaching moment based on how Richardson finished this play.

First off the design of this play was masterful. It got most of the defense moving the wrong direction which allowed AR to follow his lead blocker, Kylen Granson. If you watch AR he’s looking at that block to see if he needs to cut, he sees that Granson takes his man to the sideline and AR starts to pull up at about the six yard line. He saw that block, he saw the end zone and he thought he was going to walk in. Had he kept accelerating, lowered his shoulder and braced for the hit, there is no way that much smaller defensive back is de-cleating a 250 pound Richardson running at full-speed. It’s just not happening.

So while it, obviously, would have been better had Richardson not been knocked out of the game with a brain injury, this is a teaching moment- never assume you’re just going to walk into the end zone. Finish your runs and protect yourself until the whistle blows (and maybe a little after). You never want this to happen but it’s fair to hope he learns from it.

Second Quarter

It was on to Minshew-mania

With Drew Ogletree inactive due to the concussion he suffered a week ago, Will Mallory saw his first NFL action. And this was his first NFL reception. Anytime your first catch in the NFL goes for 43 yards, you’re probably feeling pretty good about yourself and Mallory should today. Good to see the rook haul in a couple passes.

Zack Moss had a nice day

I need to watch the tape but based on the same game everyone else watched, it seemed like the run blocking was improved from week one to go along with the improved play that Moss provided. It was an impressive day all around on the ground. Moss finished his day with 18 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown.

Another game like this and he might just earn himself an extension- ha

Kylen Granson’s first career touchdown

Unfortunately for Granson he arrived in Indianapolis right as the Colts were in the middle of their 40 year march in the quarterback purgatory desert, so it’s taken him a while to reach the promised land of the end zone. But with the help of Gardner Minshew he got there today and Granson is on pace to have a very nice season for a Colts tight end.

Third Quarter

Kenny Moore made some nice plays today

On the play directly following this one Moore came up and made a tough tackle behind the line of scrimmage. Moore was all over the field and finished the day with six solo tackles.

Kicker highlight!

It was pretty cool watching Matt Gay jog onto the field and feeling no anxiety about what was going to happen. Seems like the Colts finally have a real kicker again.

Fourth Quarter

Sacks on Sacks

Kwity Paye got his second sack in as many weeks. With as many offensive linemen as the Texans were missing, I was a little surprised he didn’t have more than one, to be honest. But it was nice to see him bring down the passer, all the same.

Shane Steichen outcoached DeMeco Ryans

In the moment I spelled both of Ryans’ names incorrectly-my bad. But this was such a heady move from Steichen. Initially the Colts ran their punt team on to the field before running them off and sending their offense back out. The Texans were confused and used a timeout. The Colts were likely fine taking the delay of game penalty to give Rigoberto Sanchez more room to try to pin the Texans deep. Instead they got the Texans to use one of their precious timeouts while they were trying to make a comeback in the fourth quarter.

That’s good coaching.


DeForrest Buckner got his second sack of the season, too. All told the Colts finished with six sacks on the day. That kind of performance wasn’t unexpected given that the Texans were down to one starting offensive lineman, that said, it’s always nice when things go the way they’re supposed to.

Final Thoughts on Week Two

It’s always good to get a win but I wish we had seen what the offense would have looked like for the rest of the game with Anthony Richardson under center. The short time we saw him in the game he, once again, looked good. He was in control. He made good decisions. He led the team on a 10 play drive that ended with a touchdown, he did everything you could have asked him to do, until he got hurt.

Next week the Colts have a much tougher opponent in the 2-0 Baltimore Ravens. Hopefully Anthony Richardson recovers and is at 100%. Winning without him was fine, but if the Colts are going to lose a game (something I fear may happen no matter who plays quarterback next week) I want the rookie to get the experience that comes along with playing in the game.

Wins are always fun, Colts fans everywhere will enjoy this one. Now we’re on to the Ravens.

As always, go Colts.