Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts 12/20/15 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: Texans 16, Colts 10
December 20, 2015
Mixed in with the Week 15 NFL Sunday schedule, we had a very important divisional matchup on the slate between the Texans and Colts. Houston was coming off a pretty ugly loss to the Patriots in their last appearance, while Indianapolis was outright destroyed by the Jaguars in Week 14. This game was huge in the race for the AFC South title, and quite the hard-hitter as both the starting quarterbacks came out due to injuries.
Let’s check out a few of the notable players and stats from the game so we can figure out why things happened the way they did. Afterward we’ll look ahead to Week 16 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: The scoreboard remained blank through the first quarter, as both teams’ offenses spun their proverbial wheels. In the second, Donte Moncrief got the game’s first touchdown with an 11-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck. Adam Vinatieri logged a 29-yard field goal for a 10-0 Colts lead.
The Texans found a bit of life near the end of the first half and were able to bag a 22-yard Nick Novak field goal to make it 10-3 at the break.
In the third, Novak snagged another score with a 46-yard boot. It would prove to be the only tally of the period.
The Texans were able to take the lead in the fourth thanks to an 8-yard pass from Brandon Weeden to Jaelen Strong. That would make it 13-10 and secure this game as another wild classic between these two teams.
The Texans got a huge fumble recovery with 3:00 left in the game, which they ran back to the Colts’ 21-yard line. They’d end the drive with a short Novak field goal for a 16-10 lead.
The Colts got the ball back at the 17-yard line with 1:52 to play, but on the very first snap Hasselbeck threw a deep interception which secured the victory for Houston.
This was the Texans’ first-ever victory in Indianapolis (1-13) and puts them atop the AFC South with a 7-7 record.
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The Stars: The Texans defense held up well here and didn’t allow the Colts to capitalize on a pair of early turnovers. They controlled this game from start to finish.
Alfred Blue fumbled early, but made up for it on 20 carries for 107 yards. DeAndre Hopkins led all receivers with eight grabs for 94 yards. Novak was also pretty solid, making three of four field goals.
The Goats: Griff Whalen is going to get a lot of flak for his late fumble, but it was also a good play by the Texans defense. In reality, the Colts offense overall was simply horrible. Hasselbeck had just 147 yards passing on 17-of-30 with the TD and pick (which was a pretty inexplicable play overall). The running game wasn’t much better, as Frank gore rushed 16 times for 44 yards.
Overall, the Colts had just 190 net yards on offense. They also racked up eight penalties for 94 yards.
Injuries: The Texans lost both T.J. Yates and Cecil Shorts in the first half. Yates went down with a leg injury after a scramble, but was able to walk to the locker room. Shorts sustained a groin issue and was ruled out after halftime.
Hasselbeck took a major shot on a pass in the fourth quarter. He was on the turf for quite a while with what looked like a head/jaw injury. Hasselbeck would return later in the quarter, however.
The Colts’ Phillip Dorsett also came out in the fourth quarter thanks to an ankle injury.
Reserve CB Charles James was shaken up pretty badly on a punt with just over three minutes remaining. He had to be helped off the field.
Griff Whalen also injured his ribs on the fumble and was taken to the locker room for evaluation shortly thereafter.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 16, both teams will be back in action on Sunday, December 27 at 1:00 PM ET. The Texans will head to Tennessee to face the Titans (CBS), while the Colts will visit the Dolphins in Miami (FOX).
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