The Colts were the last team into the playoffs, but they weren’t the first team out.
Instead, Indianapolis made a statement in Houston today, putting a whipping on the Texans and getting ready for what should be a good game next weekend in Kansas City.
The Colts’ offense got off to an outstanding start, with Andrew Luck marching them down the field for touchdowns on three of their first four drives. By the time everyone was settled in, it was already 21-0.
And after that it was never really in doubt. The Colts’ offense stalled for much of the rest of the game, but the Colts’ defense delivered, with an excellent performance that largely held Deshaun Watson in check and gave Lamar Miller no room to run.
The Texans didn’t even get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter, when Keke Coutee caught a pass from Watson and ran to the corner of the end zone, and even then it appeared that Coutee hadn’t actually scored and had fumbled just before getting the ball across the goal line. Replay stayed with the ruling on the field, however, giving the Texans their only touchdown.
But the Texans’ next drive ended with an incomplete pass by Watson on fourth-and-10, and that was all she wrote. Marlon Mack and the Colts’ offensive line had no trouble moving the ball and running out the clock in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Mack finished with 24 carries for 148 yards, a tremendous game against what had been the best run defense in football this season.
Although many league observers are attributing the Colts’ turnaround to the return to health of Luck, it was the defense that really shined for the Colts today, and it was a defensive performance that could earn coordinator Matt Eberflus a head-coaching job. This Colts defense is good. Next week, this Colts defense is going to have its hands full in Kansas City, where it will need an even better effort to slow down Patrick Mahomes.
But the Colts looked today like they’re capable of beating anyone. This was an impressive start to the postseason.