In The Colts’ final game of 2017, they defeated division rival Houston Texans, 22-13. They finish 4-12 on the season, which puts them third in the AFC South, since they beat Houston twice. This game will most likely be Chuck Pagano’s last game as a Colt. With the win, Pagano moves to 6-0 in final games. After a disappointing season, the Colts look ahead to a bright future.
Despite this game being meaningless in terms of playoffs, this game held significant meaning for the Colts in multiple ways. With this win, the Colts officially lock into the third overall pick in the NFL draft. Since the Giants won, the Colts would have moved up to the second pick, which people will criticize Pagano for. The Colts move up to third in the AFC South at 4-12, since they won the season series against the Texans. Because of this, the Colts will have a more difficult schedule next season than they would have had with a loss today. Despite these negatives, this win was a good send off for Chuck Pagano, and the most fitting way possible to end his time in Indianapolis.
For once in a blue moon, the Colts had an excellent second half after a decent first half. After giving up 13 first half points, the Colts defense gave up zero second half points, an impressive feat for this team. The Colts smothered T.J. Yates, who threw for 134 yards and an interception to Quincy Wilson on the final play. Jabaal Sheard recorded one sack and one QB hit. Although Sheard only has 5.5 sacks on the season, he ranks second in the NFL in hurries. Hassan Ridgeway bullied the Texans’ offensive line for a safety in the fourth quarter. Rookie Anthony Walker had another good performance, with six total tackles and good pass coverage. Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue only put up 76 yards and one touchdown, which I would call a job well done.
Although not as impressive as the defense, the Colts’ offense had a very solid outing. Jacoby Brissett threw for 114 yards and a touchdown, with an 84.4 passer rating. His lone touchdown was to a wide open Jack Doyle, who caught four balls for 38 yards. As has been all season, T.Y. Hilton routinely got open against the Texans’ secondary, but Brissett struggled to find him. Hilton will not eclipse 1,000 yards this season after a measly 14 today. Marlon Mack had a good day, gaining 38 yards on nine touches, displaying his explosiveness, and unleashing this nasty stiff arm on Jadeveon Clowney.
Marlon Mack just did Jadeveon Clowny dirty with a savage stiff arm pic.twitter.com/jVF26FKV03
— Matt Franciscovich (@MattFranchise) December 31, 2017
Colts’ Game Ball: Frank Gore
This was by far the easiest game ball I have ever had to give out. Not only did Frank Gore have one of his best days on the season, rushing for 100 yards, he had a historical day. Gore is one of four men to rush for over 14,000 yards, and ranks fourth on the list currently with 14,026 yards. Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Curtis Martin, and Barry Sanders is pretty good company to be in. Now, all Gore needs is a ring. Can he get one in Indianapolis?
We had a great time covering the Colts this season, and I’ll miss writing the same recap every week, just a little bit. Here’s to a better season next year, and hopefully many more winning years to come.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, and the AFC South Division Editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_ and @FPC_Colts.