The Indianapolis Colts were down by 18 points when they went down to the locker room at half time and ended up beating the Houston Texans 27-24, but it was Gary Kubiak collapsing in the second half and rushed to a hospital that resonated more than anything after the game.
The 52 year old head coach didn’t have an heart attack but did suffer an episode according to his doctors. He collapsed near the 24 yard line as the teams were making their ways to intermission, and after a few minutes was taken off and rushed to the hospital. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips took over, while Rick Dennison, the offensive coordinator, called the plays from the press box. It mostly led to a whole lot of confusion and the eventual collapse.
Things worked well for the Texans early on, as Case Keenum kept throwing to Andre Johnson, catching three passes for a touchdown. However, the Texans went away from Johnson in the second half. He caught 7 passes (targeted 10 times) for 190 yards and 3 TDs in the first, but was targeted only three times, catching 2 passes for 39 yards and no touchdowns in the second half.
Things went quite the opposite for Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton, who had nothing going for them in the first half, but connected for three touchdowns to score 21 consecutive points for the Colts, including two in the final quarter. The Texans didn’t usually send added pressure to him, but the adjustments made by the Colts managed to keep the Texans off of him in the second half, allowing him space and time to connect with Hilton, completing all three passes to his number one wide receiver now that Reggie Wayne is out for the season.
Despite contrary belief, statistics of completions and passer rating don’t show Andrew Luck as one of the best in the NFL (only 21st). However, he has led more game winning drives during the fourth quarter or overtime than any other quarterback in the Super Bowl era during his first two seasons in the league, making it to 10 so far in 25 career games.
And still the Colts needed a bit of luck – the Texans had a chance to tie the game as time expired, but Randy Bullock missed a 55-yard field goal attempt as the Texans lost their sixth consecutive game and a third by three points or less.
It wasn’t a great game from the Colts, not even with the comeback attempt. It was simply a team that went into shock, understandably, with their head coach taken off the field and into a hospital, leaving everyone stunned, confused, and probably struggling to actually focus on football. The Colts managed to do at least that, which was enough for them to pull off the impressive comeback win.
I don’t think we freaked out or got out of our system. I think we settled down a bit and played ball. Everything started working for us in the second half.