By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. — COLTS 27, TEXANS 24
PLAYER OF THE GAME
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
Somebody needed to step into the gigantic shoes left behind by Reggie Wayne. Leave it to the 5-foot-9 wide receiver out of tiny Florida International to get the job done. Hilton caught seven passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns, with all of the scores coming in the second half as the Colts erased an 18-point deficit. Hilton's 9-yard score with 4:05 to play in the game -- on which he came to a complete stop to force a defensive back to overrun the play before squirting into the end zone -- proved to be the game-winner.
Andrew Luck was just 3-for-12 in the first half as the offensive line struggled to protect him and his receivers failed to win the majority of their battles down field. He was 6-for-8 for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, leading the 10th come-from-behind victory of his 24-game career. The running game again was largely absent, with Donald Brown's 49 yards on six carries leading the way. Indianapolis racked up 314 yards overall and somehow found a way to pull out another victory.
Houston gained 483 yards of total offense, and wide receiver Andre Johnson had nine catches for 229 yards and three touchdowns alone. Making the second start of his career, Case Keenum completed 20 of 34 passes for 350 yards with three scores and no interceptions. But the Texans scored just three points in the second half as the defense routinely forced them to settle for field-goal attempts. Houston kicker Randy Bullock cooperated by converting just one of his four chances.
Special Teams: B-
A blocked field goal contributed to the early deficit, and a nearly blocked punt set Houston up with outstanding field position later in the first quarter. But T.Y. Hilton provided a spark with a 34-yard punt return, and Pat McAfee averaged 41.4 yards on his five punts -- dropping two inside the 20. Adam Vinatieri was perfect on his two field-goal tries, and the Colts should have been awarded a big turnover when LaVon Brazill knocked the ball loose on a punt return. But the play was incorrectly overturned upon a replay review.