Houston clinches its second South title
idea and that was to win the division, and we’re not going to win the division — they did it,” Indianapolis interim coach Bruce Arians said.
Thanks in great part to three sacks from Watt, Houston bounced back six days after the 4214 loss to New England on national television. The Texans will have home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if they win out.
Luck threw for 186 yards with two touchdowns in the return to his hometown. He had led the Colts to a rookierecord six wins on drives in the fourth quarter or overtime this season, and he got the Colts within six points late in the third quarter.
“We came here to win, not put up a respectable showing,” Luck said. “We’ll move on to next week and hopefully get better.”
Houston’s defense shut Luck down after he made it close, and the Texans used Arian Foster to eat up the clock. Foster ran for a season-high 165 yards to leave him with 1,313 yards rushing, giving him his third straight year with at least 1,200.
“It’s not really that we bounced back,” Foster said. “It’s that we played the football that we know we’re capable of playing.”
Watt increased his AFCleading sack total to 19½ — the NFL record for a season is 22½ — and finished with 10 tackles. He also forced a fumble for the third straight game.
“I don’t even know the stats,” Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. “But it seemed like every time I looked up, he was making a play.”
Luck was sacked five times playing behind a makeshift offensive line missing center Samson Satele (ankle) and right tackle Winston Justice (biceps).
Johnson, who has 11,008 career receiving yards, scored on a 3-yard reception to make it 100 in the first quarter. The Texans didn’t score a touchdown on offense after that, but were helped by Braman’s special teams effort.
Braman blocked his second punt of the season, recovered it and returned it 8 yards for his first career touchdown to make it 20-3 just before halftime.
Vick Ballard had 60 yards rushing on a Colts drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown reception by Dwayne Allen to cut Houston’s lead to 2317 in the third quarter. Ballard had a career-high 105 yards rushing.
Houston couldn’t do anything on its next drive and punted. But Indy sputtered, and interim coach Bruce Arians even drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a punt, giving Houston the ball at the Colts 39.
Graham added a 46yard field goal to push the lead to 26-17 and made his fifth field goal with about a minute left.
Arian Foster ran for a season-high 165 yards, surpassing 1,200 yards for the third straight season.