The Houston Texans don’t care how ugly it was. They finally won at Indianapolis.
A 16-10 victory Sunday over the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium snapped the Texans’ 13-game winless drought in Indianapolis, where they had never won, and vaulted the visitors into the driver’s seat for an AFC South Division title.
The Texans (7-7) endured despite falling behind 10-0 early and needing to rely on third-string quarterback Brandon Weeden for a little more than two quarters. T.J. Yates was lost to a left knee injury late in the second quarter.
The Colts (6-8), two-time defending division champions, struggled offensively after taking the early lead. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck took his share of hits, exited with a jaw injury in the fourth quarter, then returned but the final two possessions ended in turnovers as wide receiver Griff Whalen fumbled after a catch and Hasselbeck threw a deep interception.
“This thing ain’t over yet,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said.
But it sure seems like it, especially after the Colts managed just 190 total yards offense, not just a season low but the fewest yards in a game since 2011.
The Colts will need Houston to lose to have any chance of making the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year. They finish at Miami and at home against Tennessee while the Texans play at Tennessee and at home against Jacksonville.
Weeden, cut earlier this season by Dallas, became the Texans' fourth quarterback this season. He completed 11-of-18 passes for 105 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Jaelen Strong to give the Texans a 13-10 lead with 10:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Whalen’s turnover enabled the Texans to drive to a field goal for the six-point advantage with 1:56 remaining.
Hasselbeck, who had had heroically led the Colts to four wins as Andrew Luck’s replacement, threw a first-down interception on a misread deep ball in the Colts’ final possession. The 40-year-old passer, who has lost his last three starts while dealing with rib, back, neck and jaw injuries, completed 17-of-30 passes for 147 yards with one touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief and the one interception.
The loss will add to the widespread speculation that Pagano won’t be retained after the season, when his contract ends. General manager Ryan Grigson, who has one year remaining on his contract, could also be on the hot seat due to this season’s failings. The Colts were touted in the offseason as legit Super Bowl contenders.
Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.