Upon Further Review: Colts Week 9

November, 4, 2013
11/04/13
8:45
AM ET
HOUSTON -- An examination of five topics from the Indianapolis Colts' 27-24 victory over the Houston Texans:

[+] EnlargeAndrew Luck
Thomas B. Shea/Getty ImagesAndrew Luck and the Colts had a much better second half Sunday night.
Adjusting to the rush: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had a difficult time when the Texans rushed four or fewer players in the first half. He was only 2-of-8 and was pressured on 56 percent of his dropbacks (5-of-9) in the half. Luck handled the pressure better in the second half. He was 10-of-16 for two touchdowns and averaged 10.4 yards an attempt. “Tale of two halves,” Luck said. “They were beating our butts fair and square. We made some mistakes, but they’re the No. 1 defense from our perspective.”

Finally slowing Johnson: Texans receiver Andre Johnson looked like he was going to challenge Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson’s 329 yards when he had his way against Indianapolis' secondary during a seven-catch, 190-yard performance in the first half. The Colts held Johnson to only two catches for 39 yards in the second half. “We switched it up some in the second half,” Colts cornerback Vontae Davis said. “It’s a 60-minute game. We’re a bunch of guys who have been in the league for a number of years. We know it’s not over until it’s over. It’s about making adjustments.”

No rushing: To no surprise, the Colts finished with a season-low 69 yards rushing. Donald Brown picked up 24 of those yards on a run in the first half. The Colts went away from their ground game in the second half. They rushed the ball only one time prior to their final offensive series, when they ran it on three consecutive plays to try to eat up some clock. "We didn’t want to totally abandon the run game but we felt like the offensive guys did a great job, [offensive coordinator] Pep [Hamilton] did a great job changing the tempo a little bit,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Did a little bit more up-tempo and give our guys a chance to make some plays.”

More Luck and Hilton: Second-year receiver T.Y. Hilton found a rhythm with Luck in the second half after letting his quarterback down in the first half. Hilton had 115 of his 121 yards in the second. Luck was 3-of-3 for 78 yards and two touchdowns when targeting Hilton under standard pressure in the second half. There’s only one Reggie Wayne, but Hilton proved Sunday night that he plans to do his best to try to fill the void left behind by the veteran receiver because of his season-ending knee injury.

Barely got it off: Not even Colts punter Pat McAfee could explain how he got a punt off with Bryan Braman of the Texans flying at him. The officials did not call a penalty on Braman despite the fact he ran into McAfee and didn't touch the ball on his block attempt. “I seriously don’t know,” McAfee said. “I couldn’t see the ball, I do know that. I think I was just swinging for whatever was there and I just happened to hit the ball. Obviously it’s much better than getting it blocked to the house. But we have to clean up some stuff.” McAfee dropped the ball on a punt attempt on the play prior to his collision with Braman. The Colts punter picked the ball up and eluded a defender to get off a 55-yard punt. That play was called back because of an illegal player downfield. “I was going to run for it but I saw too many humans that are way more athletic than me,” McAfee said.

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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