The Colts defeated the Houston Texans in the wild card playoff round, 21-7. The Colts started off this game with their foot on the gas pedal, scoring 21 points in the first 22 minutes of the game. On offense, Andrew Luck sliced up Houston’s defense in the first half; Marlon Mack dominated on the ground. In the second half the Colts’ offense slowed down and couldn’t muster much up. The Texans did score on a Keke Coutee touchdown but it wasn’t enough to move the needle in their favor.
Andrew Luck played well in his return to the playoffs, dominating in the first half and sputtering in the second half. He finished the day with 222 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, which came off of a J.J. Watt tip at the line. Although he slowed to a halt in the second half, Luck did all he needed to do to put the Texans away early. He beat Houston in every phase and added 32 yards on the ground. T.Y. Hilton did all he needed to do in his home, clowning on the Texans’ secondary for 85 yards on five catches. Dontrelle Inman caught a big touchdown and added 53 yards through the air.
The story of the offense was Marlon Mack, who owned a star-studded Houston front all day, starting the game strong and closing it out. He pounded the rock 24 times for 148 yards and a touchdown. Mack’s power was on display along with some newfound elusiveness, making many a Texan miss. Today, Mack was the Texans’ first 100 rusher allowed all season and the first Colt to rush for 100 yards since the Super Bowl against the Bears.
Deshaun Watson struggled for much of his playoff debut. The Colts’ defense kept him uncomfortable for most of the game. The Texans only mustered one scoring drive late in the game but the Colts had taken their foot off of the gas. He threw for 235 yards, a touchdown, and a pick but missed way too many throws.
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Kenny Moore was arguably the best Colt on Saturday. He had six tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, two QB hits, two pass defelctions, and a huge interception on fourth down. His cornerback compatriot Pierre Desir played sound coverage all day and was a major factor in holding DeAndre Hopkins to a measly 37 yards on five catches. Darius Leonard continued his All-Pro level performance in his first playoff game, recording five tackles and a pass deflection. The defensive line hit Watson eight times and sacked him three times but there was pressure all night but Watson used his legs effectively.
Despite the convincing win, it is fair to be concerned about the state of the offense. This is the third time this season the Colts haven’t scored a point in the second half but the Colts have a week to iron out any mistakes. The youngest team in the NFL minus Adam Vinatieri played commendably in their first playoff game for many. Next week, the Colts head to Arrowhead to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_, @FPC_NBA and @FPC_Colts.