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It wasn’t a perfect performance for Indianapolis, but it was a clinical one. There were lots of positives the Colts can take from their domination of the Texans. Holding Houston to 3 total points across two games this year is impressive, no matter how badly they’re is struggling this year. Having allowed the Jets to score a lot of points when they were already beaten, it was encouraging to see the ruthlessness of the Colts defense on full display to secure the shutout win.

When there is such an apparent gulf in class between two teams like Indianapolis & Houston, it can be hard to determine what a good result is. How badly do you have to thrash a team for a win to be good enough? As Minnesota reminded us, winning against struggling teams cannot be taken for granted, especially when they’re divisional rivals.

Getting the win in Houston was much needed to reinject some momentum into the Colts season after last week’s heart-breaking loss to Tampa and the upcoming bye week. The scale of the victory will also lay down an important marker to the Patriots and Cardinals for their respective week 15 and 16 games.

The Colts started the game off strong on defense. Kenny Moore snatched an impressive interception on the Texans first drive of the game, a pick that required a fair bit of awareness and footwork to stay in bounds.

That interception set Jonathan Taylor up for his first touchdown of the day, securing his 10th consecutive game with a rushing touchdown.

Kenny Moore wasn’t done either. On the next Houston drive, he forced a fumble recovered by Xavier Rhodes. As we know, the Colts set themselves an ambitious goal of forcing 40 turnovers this season. They’ve been running just behind that goal so far this year, but that kind of start to the game certainly helps.

Unfortunately, this drive ended with what should have been a routine field goal being missed by Michael Badgley.  The miss certainly wasn’t costly on this occasion, but in closer weeks that kind of miss can really matter. It could also be a costly miss for Badgley with Rodrigo Blankenship healthy again and trying to win back his starting kicking job.

The next few drives were disappointing for the Colts offense but continued to be strong from the defense. Both teams traded punts for the rest of the quarter and most of the 2nd until Wentz found Aston Dulin on a short pass for a touchdown. It’s the second touchdown in two weeks for Dulin who was already a pro bowl nominee for his outstanding special teams work. Can he continue to carve out a bigger role in the Colts passing offense? What does Dulin’s larger workload mean for Hilton, Pascal and the Colts wide receiving core heading into next year?

The Colts started the second half strongly, with Jonathan Taylor scoring his second touchdown of the day. Taylor would later finish the game with 143 rushing yards (4.6 yards average) to go alongside his two touchdowns. At 21-0 that score killed off the game, particularly given it was followed up by the defense forcing another punt and a turnover on downs.

Indianapolis scored a field goal to start the fourth quarter. That was followed by a Houston punt, a fumble by Taylor and a Texans turnover on downs. Deon Jackson then put the final flourish on the game by rushing in for his first career touchdown. Unlike the Jets game, the Colts were confident enough to finish the game with Elhinger and Jackson on the field in place of Wentz and Taylor.

The Colts forced another Houston turnover on downs to end the game 31-0. It was a promising, but unspectacular game for the Indianapolis offense. The fact they scored 31 points and didn’t look close to their best says a lot about how good this offense can be. Wentz only threw for 158 yards and one touchdown but he did have a passer rating of 107.8 and didn’t make any great mistakes. Michael Pittman also had an important bounce back game after his tough day against Tampa last week. He racked up 77 receiving and 33 rushing yards which should help him regain some confidence.

The main concern for the Colts offense from this week will be the long-period of the game where they were forced to repeatedly punt the ball when only up seven points. It won’t be too great a concern on a day when they scored 31 points, but it is the kind of period of no points that have cost the Colts in closer games this season.

There was good play across the defense as you’d expect in a shutout. Much of that play came from the Colts less-celebrated pass rushers Al-Quadin Muhammad and Kemoko Turay who both secured two sacks.

As a whole, the Colts defense held the Texans offense to 94 receiving yards, 84 rushing yards, and no points whilst securing two turnovers and forcing three turnovers on downs. We know Houston has one of the least effective offenses in the NFL, but this was still an impressive defensive performance from the Colts.

MVP: Kenny Moore

After such a strong defensive performance from the team, it only feels right to give the Blue Stable MVP of the week to a defensive player. And Kenny Moore was the pick of the bunch. His interception and forced fumble set the tone for the game and his four tackles and two passes defended played a major part in shutting the Texans out. Kenny Moore is another Colts player in pro bowl contention, we can only hope this performance helps his chances.

An honorable mention is due to Jonathan Taylor. The numbers he put up would look like a breakout, a career game for a lot of running backs. It says a lot about his incredible performance this year that today’s performance if anything felt underwhelming at times. As good as Taylor was again today; he wasn’t as impressive, explosive, or efficient as he has been in his best games this season. So it is only right to give Moore the award for a near flawless game.

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SebastianBench

I'm a Colts fan from the UK. I started supporting the Colts when me and my brother bought Madden 08 and I choose The Colts because they had the best offense and worst defense in the game. My passion for the Colts and the NFL has really bloomed over the past five years and continues to go from strength to strength. For this I can thank finding the right friends and the magic of NFL Redzone. Twitter: @BenchSebastian

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