Texans Flatten Colts, 34-24

In what was billed as the biggest game in franchise history, the Houston Texans made a statement in the season opener Sunday, utilizing a punishing running game to top the defending AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts, 34-24.

It's the second time in three years the Colts have started the season 0-1, and only the second win all-time for the Texans franchise over Indianapolis.

The Texans came into the game looking to make a statement that they wouldn't be pushed around by the Colts any longer, and indeed, it was Houston that did the pushing, racking up 257 yards on the ground. Arian Foster did most of the damage for the Texans, with 231 yards on 33 carries.

The Texans were able to control the game throughout, jumping out to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. The Colts closed the first half with 10 points on a pass from Peyton Manning to Reggie Wayne and an Adam Vinatieri field goal, cutting the Texans' lead to 13-10 at the halftime break.

But Indianapolis was never able to get momentum fully back on its side. Foster added third-quarter touchdown to give Houston a 20-10 lead, but the Colts weren't quite finished.

Manning led the Colts downfield early in the fourth quarter, and completed a long pass down the middle to Austin Collie that would have had the Colts knocking on the door of the end zone. But Collie, sandwiched between a pair of defenders, fumbled the ball, and Houston's Glover Quin recovered it at the Houston nine.

The Texans went right back to work on the ground, as Foster rambled 42 yards on the first play of the drive, then added runs of 11 and 25 yards to cap a four-play, four-run, 91-yard drive that gave Houston a 27-10 lead.

Manning would come back with fourth-quarter TD throws to Dallas Clark and Collie, but it was too little, too late for Indianapolis, as Foster continued to chew up yardage and added another touchdown run — his third of the game — in between the two Indianapolis touchdowns.

With the success they had running the ball, Houston didn't need to rely on its formidable passing attack. Quarterback Matt Schaub attempted only 17 throws, connecting on nine, with one touchdown and an interception. The Texans ran the ball 42 times and averaged 6.1 yards per attempt.

The Colts, meanwhile, threw the ball almost exclusively, with Manning attempting 57 passes, a career-high for the 13th-year veteran. He completed 40 of them, also a career-high, for 433 yards and three touchdowns and a passer rating of 109.8. The Colts ran the ball just 10 times, with Joseph Addai getting all the carries for 44 yards.

Clark and Collie had double-digit receptions for the Colts with 11 and 10, respectively, for 80 and 131 yards. Wayne grabbed seven balls for 99 yards.

Antoine Bethea had 13 tackles to lead a lackluster defensive effort for Indianapolis. Melvin Bullitt had an interception and Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney each notched a sack.

Indianapolis will open its home schedule next Sunday with a "Sunday Night Football" contest vs. the New York Giants.

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