Colts dominate Texans inWild Card
HOUSTON — Andrew Luck threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns, and the Colts raced out to a big lead and cruised to a 21-7 win over the Texans in a wild-card playoff game Saturday.
Luck put on a showin his hometown, throwing for 191 yards and two touchdowns before halftime to help the Colts build a 21-0 lead.
TheColts advance to face the top-seeded Chiefs in the divisional round nextweekend.
The Texans, who overcame an 0-3 start to win the AFC South, gave up too many big plays and couldn’t get anything going on offense in the first half as they fell into the huge hole.
Deshaun Watson, who was sacked an NFL-leading 62 times in the regular season, was sacked three times and hit eight more times in a disappointing playoff debut. He finished with 235 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception.
The Colts, who opened the season 1-5, continued an impressive run by winning their fifth straight and for the 10th time in 11 games. Saturday was their first playoff appearance since the AFC championship game loss at New England in the “Deflategate” game in the 2014 season.
It was another good game in a splendid season for Luck, who grew up in a suburb ofHouston.
He threw for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns in the regular season after missing all of 2017 with a shoulder injury.
The Texans didn’t score until rookie Keke Coutee grabbed a 6-yard touchdown pass to cap a 16-play, 89-yard drive that included a fourth-down conversion that cut it to 21-7 with about 11 minutes left.
The Texans led the NFL with nine comeback wins this season, but their at- tempt at a rally ended on their next possession when Watson’s pass on fourthand-10 fromthe Colts 24fell short with about four minutes left.
Luck threw for 863 yards with six touchdowns as the teams split two meetings in the regular season. He picked up right where he left off in this one when he found Eric Ebron for a 6-yard touchdown on their first drive.
That play was set up by a 38-yard catch byT.Y. Hilton, who had 63 yards receiving on that drive.
Hilton didn’t have any catches on the next drive, but the Colts still drove down the field easily and made it 14-0 on a 2-yard run byMack later in the first.
Houston went for it on fourth-and-4 fromthe Indianapolis 45 on its second possession andWatson was intercepted by Kenny Moore II.
It was his first interception since he threw two against the Redskins on Nov. 18.
The Colts got to the 17 after that before J.J. Watt deflected Luck’s pass and hewas intercepted byBrandon Dunn. But the Texans couldn’t move the ball and had to punt.
Indianapolis pushed the lead to 21-0 when Luck connected with Dontrelle Inman on an 18-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
The Colts will now have to travel to Kansas City, where the Chiefswere 7-1 in the regular season.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws against the Houston Texans during the first half on Saturday.