NFL Week 15: Texans 16, Colts 10 — 4 Winners, 4 Losers

After Sunday's injury, it's not unrealistic to think Yates may have taken his last NFL snap.
After Sunday's injury, it's not unrealistic to think Yates may have taken his last NFL snap.
Aaron M. Sprecher

Let's go back in time for a moment — three weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints were in Houston to take on the Texans, and at about 10:30 in the morning, as they usually are, the inactive players for the game were announced. Here they were:

Keep those name sin mind for a moment.

Now fast forward back to Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. The Texans finally got the ominous gorilla of 0-13 off their backs, beating the Colts in Indy for the first time in the history of the franchise. Around the country, it may not have been a big deal, but in Houston, it felt like the end of UCLA's 88 game winning streak, Oklahoma's 47 game winning streak, and the Undertaker's 21 match wining streak at Wrestlemania combined.

And at the center of the most important parts of the game were three names who were on the above inactive list just three weeks ago, with Brandon Weeden (the Texans' fourth QB of the season) connecting with Jaelen Strong on the winning touchdown pass, and A.J. Bouye sealing the game with an interception of Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck in the final two minutes. 

It was a glorious day, another day in which Texans head coach Bill O'Brien had to make do with what he had and squeeze everything he could out of his defense to come away with an historic team win. Let's get to some winners and losers.....

WINNERS

4. Brandon Weeden
A few weeks ago, Weeden was discarded by the Cowboys so they could employ Matt Cassel as their backup to Tony Romo. On Sunday, there Weeden was fishing the Texans' most important game of the season out of the fire, conveniently and ironically enough, just several hours after the Cowboys were trying to get a win with the horrific Kellen Moore at quarterback. For a guy who's only been in the Texans' offense for a few weeks, Weeden had solid command and made big throws when he needed to, including the touchdown pass to Strong that gave us this great moment....

3. John Harris, Texans sideline reporter
Watch to the left, my dude Johnny gets some serious air....

2. Alfred Blue
In the absence of Arian Foster, this is how it's going to go at the running back position, I guess. O'Brien will test them out early in the game, and whichever one he feels gives them the best chance to win that day will be the guy. In the past few weeks, that's been Chris Polk, but yesterday, Blue was the hot hand, ending up with 107 yards on 20 carries and recovering from an early fumble that set the Colts up with room service in Texans territory. Also, let the record reflect, I'm in favor of the addition of Akeem Hunt to the mix, as well. 

1. Texans defense
After a start to the game in which turnovers and the Texans' special teams gave the Colts starting field position in Texans territory three of their first four drives, and ten pretty easy points, the Texans' defense settled in and shut down the Colts for the rest of the afternoon, holding them to 190 yards on the day and forcing two big turnovers of their own down the stretch, with Johnathan Joseph forcing a Griff Whalen fumble and Bouye intercepting Hasselbeck, both in the last three minutes of the game. 

LOSERS

4. Garrett Graham
Texans tight ends Ryan Griffin and C.J. Fiedorowicz combined for two catches and 30 yards yesterday. They also each had crucial holding penalties, in particular Griffin's which caused an Akeem Hunt catch and run inside the ten yard line to get called back. This was the next in a long line of poor to awful games played by the Texans tight end combo, to which I ask — what the hell did Garrett Graham (inactive for the seventh straight game) do to piss off these coaches?

3. Andre Johnson
The team Andre Johnson plays for in the Houston-versus-Indianapolis game is now 0-13 in Indianapolis during his career. 

2. T.J. Yates
As Yates took off out of the pocket on a third and long and began scrambling upfield, I was reminded of his legendary scramble on 3rd and 15 as a rookie on the winning drive against the Bengals. Unfortunately, we couldn't even savor this run for two seconds before Yates went down clutching his left knee. After the game, the worst fears were realized — Yates has a torn ACL, and his season is over. It's not unrealistic to think Yates may have taken his last NFL snap. With life on the fringes (dude was on his couch a month or so ago), you never know. I feel for the guy. To add insult to injury, the run was called back on a holding penalty. 

1. Steve Harvey
In case you missed the most incompetent announcement of a pageant winner in televised history, here's Steve Harvey in last night's Miss Universe pageant....

And his spelling isn't much better....

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.                 


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