NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 6 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 31, Houston Texans 3

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) passes during the first half of the game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium and Indianapolis. Indianapolis Colts And Seattle Seahawks On Nfl Week 1 At Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday Sept 12 2021

The Indianapolis Colts dominated the Houston Texans 31-3 to collect their second win of the season and move into second place in the AFC South.

Indianapolis held a seven-point lead heading into halftime before outscoring Houston 21-0 over the game’s final two quarters, thanks in large part to an overpowering second-half performance from Colts running back Jonathan Taylor.

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Indianapolis Colts


Carson Wentz was effective throughout against Houston’s paltry defense, throwing for 223 yards on 11-of-20 passing and two touchdowns. The former No. 2 overall pick worked the ball downfield with ease, finishing with a 13.2-yard average depth of target and an impressive 51-yard touchdown bomb to Parris Campbell toward the end of the first quarter.

Despite suffering from a season-high four dropped passes, Wentz was dynamic from the opening snap, finishing without a turnover-worthy play and a quarterback rating of 127.7.

Target Depth Comp./Att. Yds Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 2/2 22 100% 0
Short (1-9) 4/9 35 77.8% 0
Intermediate (10-19) 2/3 35 66.7% 0
Deep (20+) 3/4 131 100% 2

Running back

Fresh off possibly his strongest games of the season, Jonathan Taylor was bottled up for much of the first half Sunday before exploding for 139 rushing yards in the second half. Finishing with 158 total yards — 145 rushing and 13 receiving — Taylor was shifty throughout finishing with a team-high three forced missed tackles.

The rest of Indianapolis’ talented crew of running backs failed to make a significant impact, as neither Nyheim Hines nor Marlon Mack accrued more than 30 total yards.

Wide receiver/tight end

A number of Colts pass-catchers were proficient on reduced volume in Sunday’s victory, as T.Y. Hilton led the team in receptions (4) and receiving yards (80) in his return from injured reserve.

The unit as a whole thrived in the deeper parts of the field, as both Hilton and Campbell hauled in 50-plus-yard receptions while Michael Pittman Jr., Mo Alie-Cox, Hilton and Campbell finished were targeted more than 16 yards downfield on average.

Alie-Cox was the team’s most productive tight end Sunday, pulling in one of Wentz’s two touchdown tosses with a nimble sideline snag toward the beginning of the third quarter. Alie-Cox finished with three targets, the second-highest total on the team, but was only able to come down with his one reception for 28 yards.

Offensive line

Indianapolis’s offensive line lived up to their high standards Sunday, providing ample time in pass protection while opening up sizable lanes in the running game.

Rarely was Wentz forced out of the pocket in the win, scrambling just once as his offensive line allowed 12 total pressures and two sacks. The offensive line was equally dominant in the running game, as the Colts averaged 6.7 yards per rush, including an average of 2.1 yards before contact per attempt.

Defensive line

The Colts' defensive line performed adequately in Sunday’s victory, limiting the Texans' effectiveness on the ground yet struggling to make a significant impact against Houston’s quick-strike passing attack.

Interior defender DeForest Buckner collected one of the team’s two sacks while accruing a team-high three total pressures. Interior defender Grover Stewart was the unit’s most effective member against the run, totaling seven tackles in the win.


Indianapolis’ linebackers were targeted 11 times Sunday, allowing eight receptions for just 69 yards and three first downs. Darius Leonard was once again the standout of the unit, pulling down his second interception of the season to go along with his seven tackles and one quarterback hit.


The Colts' secondary was in top form Sunday, clamping down on the Houston passing game as they corralled the Texans' receivers from the opening snap. While the group certainly saw conceded their fair share of receptions, allowing 21 receptions on 30 targets, the Indianapolis secondary stifled any of Houston’s after-the-catch opportunities as the unit gave up just 174 yards and zero touchdowns.

Kenny Moore II drew a team-high 11 targets, allowing nine receptions yet averaged just 6.6 yards allowed per reception.

Defender Coverage Snaps  Receptions Allowed/Targets Yards Allowed Quarterback Rating Allowed
Xavier Rhodes 46 5/6 42 95.8
Kenny Moore II 43 9/11 59 89.0
Rock Ya-Sin 28 4/5 47 105.8
Isaiah Rodgers 12 1/4 6 0.0

Houston Texans


Davis Mills struggled for the entirety of Sunday’s defeat, rarely appearing confident as he relied heavily on quick-breaking routes and check-downs.

The rookie finished with 243 yards passing but needed 43 attempts to do it, as he completed 29 passes while throwing two interceptions and zero touchdowns.

With an average depth of target of just 7.1 yards, Mills attempted just two passes over 20 yards as his inability to remain poised in the pocket was evident from the opening snap. Mills’s accuracy was also problematic, as the third-round pick finished with two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 62.5.

Target Depth Comp./Att. Yds Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 9/9 33 100% 0
Short (1-9) 12/16 99 81.3% 0
Intermediate (10-19) 8/14 111 64.3% 0
Deep (20+) 0/2 0 0% 0

Running back

Mark Ingram was surprisingly effective as the Texans' lead rusher, racking up 73 yards on the ground in his 18 carries. He forced four missed tackles to lead the team while totaling two explosive runs in the defeat. He was supplanted by Phillip Lindsay, who collected 54 total yards on his nine touches.

Wide receiver/tight end

The Texans' pass-catchers were limited by Mills’ ineptitude, as Brandin Cooks led the unit with 89 receiving yards on nine receptions in the loss. He joined rookie Nico Collins, who finished with four receptions for 44 yards, as the only Houston wide receivers with an average depth of target greater than 4.5 yards as the Texans passing attack primarily operated close to the line of scrimmage.

Tight end Jordan Akins operated as Houston’s lead receiver at the position, reeling in four of his six targets for 41 yards. The fourth-year pro was unexpectedly impressive with the ball in his hands, collecting a unit-high 16 yards after the catch.

Offensive line

Houston’s offensive line produced modest lanes in the running game while fulfilling their duties in pass protection. The unit allowed just 16 total pressures and two sacks, due in larger part to Mills’ 2.45-second average time to throw rather than any exemplary pass protection. The group was also relatively proficient in the run game, as Texans rushers averaged 1.2 yards before contact and 4.3 yards per rush.

Defensive line

The Texans' defensive line was not at its best Sunday, failing to make much of an impact in the passing game while struggling to contain the dynamic Indianapolis rushing attack.

Edge defender Jonathan Greenard was by far the group’s most effective rusher, accounting for five of the team’s 12 pressures while totaling two of Houston’s three sacks. The second-year pro was also the unit’s most imposing member against the run, accumulating a unit-best six tackles.

Defender Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks
Maliek Collins 16 2 0
Jacob Martin 14 2 1
Jonathan Greenard 14 5 2
DeMarcus Walker 13 1 0
Jordan Jenkins 10 2 0

Houston’s linebackers were up and down in their performance Sunday, limiting Indianapolis’s passing opportunities over the middle of the field yet failing to make much on an impact against the Colts' running backs. Kamu Grugier-Hill led the team with seven tackles, finishing with an average depth of tackle of 3.67 yards. The unit as a whole was targeted just five times, conceding three receptions for 32 yards and one first down.


The Texans secondary struggled throughout Sunday’s defeat, as the group was unable to limit Indianapolis’ effectiveness through the air despite the relatively limited number of attempts. Lonnie Johnson Jr. and Terrence Brooks were the primary liabilities, as the duo allowed 148 yards and two touchdowns on just four combined targets. Tavierre Thomas was the unit’s lone standout, as the fourth-year pro allowed just one reception for seven yards on his three targets.

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