Sean Pendergast

NFL Week 6: Colts 31, Texans 3 — Four Winners, Four Losers

David Culley and Lovie Smith were overmatched again on Sunday.
David Culley and Lovie Smith were overmatched again on Sunday. Photo by Eric Sauseda
Coming into Sunday, since 2014, the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts had met 14 times, and in all 14 of those games, the final margin was less than ten points, either way. Generally speaking, these two teams have been near each other in the standings for the last eight seasons, other than the last couple years where, in 2019, the Texans finished three games better than the Colts, and last season, when the Colts where seven games superior to the Texans.

So with both teams having the same record coming into Sunday, both a wretched 1-4, it seemed peculiar that the Colts were such a decided favorite, favored by ten points in most sports books. Well, credit Vegas. They know what they're doing. The streak fo close games between these two teams came to resounding end on Sunday afternoon, with the Colts dominating the Texans on every way in a 31-3 victory.

The Texans have now gone two full road games in a row without a touchdown, and the season is sliding quickly into the toilet. There were winners and losers (PLENTY of them) on Sunday. Here are just a few....

WINNERS


4. Big plays
Stats can be very deceiving sometimes. Take "number of plays run" in an NFL game, for example. The Houston Texans ran far more plays than the Colts did on Sunday. Here is the issue — the Texans' plays were like ant bites, with the most painful ant bite being a meaningless 24-yard run by Mark Ingram. The Colts' ran far fewer plays, but the game swung on three of them — a 51-yard touchdown catch for Parris Campbell to open the scoring, a 52-yard catch by T.Y. Hilton on a deep ball, and an 83-yard run by Jonathan Taylor to set up the third touchdown of the day for the Colts. The Texans' defense is supposed to have a "bend but don't break" philosophy. On Sunday, the Texans' defense bent, broke, and disintegrated into dust by the end of the day.

3. Jonathan Greenard
There was exactly one individual bright spot for the Texans. Defensive end Jonathan Greenard, for the second straight week, was the only defensive player to do anything that resembled a "splash play" in the front seven. On Sunday, Greenard had the Texans' only two sacks to go with two tackles for loss. That's all I got. Pretty much everyone else stunk. More on that later.

2. Incessant flexing
One category that the Texans would appear to unofficially lead the league in, if you watched on Sunday — flexing their muscles (literally, like flexing muscles) after making a play while down multiple scores. For example, DeMarcus Walker made a tackle on a play (shortly after Taylor's 83-yard run) and decided to show us how big his arms are. One play later, Walker got buried on a Taylor touchdown run...
On the ensuing possession for the Texans, Mark Ingram had an 11-yard run. He got up and flexed. The Texans trailed 24-3 at the time. They would go on to lose 31-3. This team is a laughingstock.

1. Carson Wentz
Since arriving in Indy in a trade with Philly, it's been a tumultuous season for Wentz, who suffered an injury in the preseason, then sprained both ankles in a game against the Rams earlier this season. In the last two weeks, though, he seems to have turned a corner, as he threw for over 400 yards against the Ravens in Week 5, and yesterday against the Texans, he completed just 11 passes, but they were for 223 yards, including two passes of over 50 yards. This was a crucial game for Wentz to right the Colts' ship, and get the season back on track. Now, if the Bills beat the Titans tonight, all of a sudden, the Colts are within a game of first place in the AFC South.


LOSERS

4. Ed Orgeron
We interrupt some NFL talk to touch on one of the more  remarkable 180 degree turns a fan base and school have done on their head coach, particularly a head coach who is a native son of their state. Just two seasons ago, Louisiana native Ed Orgeron was overseeing one of the greatest college football teams of all time, as the 2019 LSU Tigers won the national championship, behind Heisman winner Joe Burrow. Less than two seasons later, the two sides, LSU and Orgeron, have arrived at an agreement that 2021 will be CoachO's final season in Baton Rouge.

All of a sudden, one of the plumb college jobs, albeit one with borderline unreasonable fan expectations, has opened up. At the very least, we know the Tigers will pay market price for a head coach, as Orgeron was the second highest paid coach in college football ($9 million per year).

3. Texans' discipline
Back to the Texans — you don't give up 50-yard bombs by accident. When you give up two of them within three plays, like the Texans did on Sunday, you have to almost TRY to be that incompetent. Add in the 28-yard touchdown to Mo Allie-Cox, and the rampant missed tackles, and the Texans' defense was an  undisciplined cesspool of underperformance. Brandin Cooks laid out best in his postgame availability:

2. Charles Omenihu
For the second consecutive week, Omenihu, one of the more productive pass rushers on the team was on the INACTIVE list.:
Inactive players travel with the team and are in the stadium, which means that Omenihu was possibly in the locker room at halftime when he tweeted congratulations to his former college teammate, DeShon Elliott for an interception in a game taking place 1,000 miles away in Baltimore:
Gee, makes me wonder .... I wonder who Brandin Cooks was referring to in his missive about "undisciplined" play.

1. David Johnson sucks

David Johnson didn't just start sucking at football yesterday afternoon. He has sucked for quite some time now, since before he became a Houston Texan, actually. That didn't stop Bill O'Brien from trading the best receiver in football for him in 2020, and that didn't stop the Texans from brining Johnson back on a discounted (but not nearly discounted enough) deal this past offseason. On Sunday, Johnson lost a fumble, whiffed on a  block on a blitz where his QB got murdered, ran the wrong way on a run play, and had a fumble reversed because, as it turns out, he just dropped the ball (thus, INCOMPLETE PASS). Sadly, the three touches for 21 yards that Johnson had didn't counterbalance his woeful parade of mistakes. Go ahead and assume that the teacher's pet will be back on the field next week. How do I know? Well, one of the Texans' three game captains yesterday? David Johnson.

You can't make this stuff up.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast