HOUSTON—It was a deficit that brought back some great memories for the Colts.
When a Kris Brown field goal gave the Texans a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, some on the team and probably a few fans thought back to that rally in October of 2008.
"It's football. How bad do you want it," said linebacker Clint Session when asked about playing the Texans in Houston. "They wanted it bad but we wanted it a little more."
But it is sort of funny how this were eerily similar in this 35-27 victory over the Texans as were that day 14 months ago, its just that this time they began a little earlier.
In the third quarter-down by 13 points-the Colts used an 80-yard drive to begin the second half to get back in the game, as Wayne caught a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to pull the Colts to within six. In the 2008 game, Manning led the Colts on a 81-yard drive capped off by a seven-yard touchdown throw to Tom Santi to put the Colts within 10.
On defense, the Colts mimicked their performance almost exactly, except this time they had the lead at 21-20 before their turnover barrage began. Clint Session picked off a Matt Schaub pass and took it back 27 yards for a touchdown to give the Colts a 28-20 lead. On the next series, Robert Mathis forced a fumble from Schaub, which was recovered by Raheem Brock on which the offense capitalized with a 23-yard touchdown run by Chad Simpson.
In the 2008 game, Gary Brackett returned a fumble for a touchdown to cut the deficit to three, and then Mathis forced a fumble from then Houston quarterback Sage Rosenfels, which led to Wayne's game-winning touchdown catch.
"It felt a lot like last year," said Mathis in comparing the two games. "We had to really do our job and not let them stop the bleeding."
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As good as it was for the Colts to repeat history, it was the equal but opposite reaction for the now slumping Houston Texans.
"It's frustrating," said Schaub with the obvious statement of the day for the team that came out in the all blue Sunday. "Everything was right there for us. We played a good first half."
Not even head coach Gary Kubiak could put a good spin on the third game in the last two seasons that the Texans had a fourth quarter lead against the Colts and let it slip away.
"We just lost a big football game and we just played very poorly in the second half," said Kubiak. "So just very disappointing."
While off-and-on defense in the second half and a turnover-riddled offense may seem like an easy explanation for the Texans' third consecutive loss, but the blame could be put on the offense in the second quarter, when they had a chance to really put the game away.
Brian Cushing's interception put Houston inside Colts territory and the offense drove to the Indianapolis 12-yard line, but could only muster a field goal. After the Colts got on the board with a touchdown, the Texans drove inside the Colts' 15 yard line, but again couldn't get the seven points to further put the game out of reach.
"We settled for a couple of field goals when I think we should have been able to put sevens on the board. I think that kept the score closer than it could have been at halftime," said Schaub. "Then it got down there in the fourth quarter and I had the turnover, we hurt ourselves with penalties all day."
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