Final Score: Indianapolis 19, Houston 16
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Dan Orlovsky certainly didn't "Suck for
Luck" on Thursday, especially when the oft-maligned quarterback orchestrated a
two-minute drill to perfection to give the Colts an unlikely 19-16 victory
over the AFC South-champion Houston Texans.
When it mattered most down the stretch, Orlovsky guided a 12-play, 78-yard
march that ended with Reggie Wayne hauling in a one-yard touchdown pass over
his defender with 19 seconds remaining.
The dramatic win was Indianapolis' second straight after starting the season
0-13. A loss would have guaranteed the Colts the first overall pick in the
2012 NFL Draft -- and a shot at Stanford standout Andrew Luck -- but they
settled for spoiling the Texans' chance at their first ever season sweep in
the one-sided rivalry.
In fact, Houston (10-5) has never won in Indianapolis, falling to 0-10 there
after failing to hold a 16-12 lead following Neil Rackers' 31-yard with 1:56
The ensuing drive featured a pair of third-down conversions and three Houston
penalties in a seven-play span, the last a pass interference infraction on
Glover Quin that moved the ball to the Houston one-yard line.
On the next play, Orlovsky threw a back-shoulder fade to free-agent-to-be
Wayne, who secured the throw and celebrated the go-ahead score in perhaps his
last home game with the Colts.
"I was sitting in my hotel room thinking today it was the last home game for
the season here," Orlovsky said. "And there are questions marks about what can
happen in [Wayne's] future.
"I was just thinking to myself if it ever got to the point in the game where
someone needed to make a play, it wasn't probably going to go anywhere but
him. I think he deserved that opportunity and obviously he continues to show
that he comes up in the clutch."
There was no miracle comeback for the Texans, whose chance at securing a
first-round bye in the playoffs was hindered dramatically with a second
Arian Foster carried Houston's anemic offense with 158 yards and a touchdown
on 23 carries, while T.J. Yates completed an efficient 13-of-16 throws but
passed for just 132 yards.
"We're playing with a young quarterback and we're adjusting every week as we
go," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. "We're struggling to find some points
and obviously didn't find enough tonight."
Foster's nine-yard touchdown run came after Orlovsky, who ended with 244 yards
on 23-of-41 throws, fumbled on the game's opening snap.
It was the only TD in an otherwise offense-starved first half. Houston, which
added a 44-yard Rackers field goal in the first quarter, did not post a first
down in the second frame and gained just 107 yards in the first half.
The Colts weren't much better, netting 129 combined yards in the first two
quarters. They managed a pair of field goals from Adam Vinatieri of 23 and 32
yards, and the kicker's third, a 42-yard try, hooked left just before
Houston's promising drive to start the second half stalled inside the
Indianapolis 20, leading to Rackers' 35-yard field goal 4 1/2 minutes in.
Vinatieri capped a 12-play, 51-yard drive with a 47-yard kick in the final
minute of the third, and added a 31-yarder with 6:48 remaining in the fourth.
Wayne caught eight passes for 106 yards -- both game-highs...The Colts had 24
first downs to Houston's 14...Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson missed his
third straight game due to a hamstring injury.
12/23 01:45:25 ET
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