There is a saying in sports that a tie is like kissing your sister.
Well, that’s what the Texans and Colts did Sunday, on opening day before a raucous home crowd of more than 69,000 at NRG Stadium.
The game ended in a 20-20 tie.
The game was like a ride on a roller coaster. Both teams had their ups and downs.
The Colts on their second possession went on a 12-play, 47-yard drive that used up 6:57 on the clock, culminating in a 45-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship. The Colts led 3-0. That ended the first quarter, where both teams punted twice.
The Texans started the second quarter on their own 31-yard line and went on a 14-play drive of 69 yards that ended with Ka’imi Fairbairn kicking a 45-yard FG that tied the game up at 3-3.
The Colts got the ball on their own 25-yard line.
Colts QB Matt Ryan, behind great protection from his offensive line, hit WR Michael Pittman with a 28-yard pass for a first down.
On the ensuing play, Ryan’s pass was intercepted by Texans LB Jerry Hughes.
The Texans took over on their own 42-yard line. On the second play of the drive, the Colts were flagged for a 35-yard pass interference on a deep pass intended for Brandin Cooks.
On the fourth play of the drive, Texans QB David Mills hit tight end O.J. Howard on 16-yard pass on the left sideline for a 16-yard TD. That drive covered 4 plays and 58 yards. The Texans took a 10-3 lead.
On the Colts second possession of the second quarter, Ryan’s pass was tipped and intercepted by DE Jerry Hughes. The Texans took over on their own 45-yard line and went three and out and punted. They went into the half with a 10-3 lead.
On the Colts opening possession of the third quarter, Ryan fumbled, and LB Christian Kirksey recovered. The Texans took over on their own 42-yard line.
On the first play of the drive, RB Rex Burkhead blasted over the left side behind a clearing block from rookie OL Kenyon Green for an 8-yard run.
On the next play, Mills hit Cooks down the middle on a seam route for 42 yards, down to the Colts 23.
On the next play Burkhead was tackled for a 5-yard loss. The Texans couldn’t convert on third down and ended up settling for a 43-yard FG by Fairbairn. The Texans led 13-3.
On the Colts ensuing possession, Ryan fumbled another bad snap and the Texans recovered. On the fourth play of the drive, Mills hit Howard with his second TD pass of the game, that covered 16 yards. The drive was helped by a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty against the Colts. The Texans lead grew to 20-3, and that ended the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was dominated by the Colts. They went on three consecutive scoring drives and tied the game up and forced the game into overtime.
The Texans got the first possession in OT, and Mills was sacked three times. The Texans were forced to punt.
Ryan aka “Matty Ice” lead the Colts on a 13-play drive that used up 6:30 off the clock, which got the Colts in position to kick the winning field goal. Blankenship attempted a 42-yard field goal that went wide right with two minutes left in OT.
The Texans took over on downs with a chance to win the game with a 1:40 left on the clock. Mills hit Cooks on an 8-yard pass, and on the next play, Burkhead caught a swing pass out of the backfield that moved the ball to the 49-yard line. On third down, the Texans needed a yard to make a first, and they decided to run a dive play up the middle that was stuffed at the line of scrimmage by the Colts.
The Texans were faced with a 4th and 2 and decided to punt instead of going for the first down. The Colts took over on their 20-yard line and ran out the clock.
The game ended in a tie. The first in Texans history.
Takeaways from the game: The Texans let one get away. They outplayed the Colts for three quarters but didn’t finish the game. Although there are no moral victories in football, the Texans are much improved over last year’s debacle.
Burl” The Coach” Jones