The Houston Texans defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 20-17, on Thursday Night Football behind two receiving touchdowns by DeAndre Hopkins and the Texans defense holding Jacoby Brissett to only 129 yards passing.
In the AFC this season, an 8-8 overall record might be good enough for the final playoff spot. The Texans are closer to securing the division and a surefire playoff spot after defeating the division rival Colts.
The Texans defense harassed Brissett all night, holding him to only 16 completions and 129 passing yards. Only two Colts had over 20 receiving yards, with Eric Ebron led the team with 44 receiving yards. The lone bright spot in the offense was running back Jonathan Williams, who rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.
The game was back-and-forth until the fourth quarter, when both offenses struggled to move the ball. With Houston losing 17-13, Hopkins caught a go-ahead 30-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson early in the fourth quarter. The rest of the game would be the defenses battling each other, as the Texans simply ran out the clock at the end after a potential fumble was called back that would’ve given possession to the Colts.
The Colts now drop to 6-5 on a season that had Super Bowl aspirations during the summer. After Andrew Luck suddenly retired, the team rallied behind Jacoby Brissett. At times this season, the team looked poised to make a playoff run and surprise audiences. At other times, they look like a team without an identity.
The Texans, on the other hand, are in position to win the AFC South and fight with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots for dominance in the AFC. With quarterback Tom Brady finally showing his age, the AFC is open for another team to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. The Texans defense will have to rally with JJ Watt out for the season, and Watson and Hopkins will have to continue their chemistry.