HOUSTON — The final play of Sunday’s game was a pretty good summation of the current state of affairs for the Texans.
The replacement left tackle got beat and allowed the replacement quarterback to get sacked and fumble the ball on a potentially game-tying score inside the Indianapolis red zone, handing Houston a 20-14 loss.
“It was one of the most frustrating games of my life,” quarterback Tom Savage said. “The most frustrating part of it is there was nothing they were doing that we weren’t prepared for.”
Savage was starting his second game of the year and first since breakout rookie Deshaun Watson tore his ACL running a non-contact drill in practice last week. The third-year pro finished 19 of 44 passing for 219 yards and one touchdown.
Savage’s first touchdown pass came on the 138th pass attempt of his career, according to ESPN.
The Texans scored on their penultimate drive of the game when Savage hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 34-yard touchdown with three minutes left. They drove 73 yards and Savage completed 6 of 11 passes on the final drive.
"Guys were open and I'm not going to give you the politically correct answer and say blah, blah, blah and we can do better,” Savage said. “I've got to make the throws. I played like crap."
During the final drive, the Texans routinely let the play clock wind down despite having one timeout left. They went no-huddle on two of their final five plays, both of which fell incomplete. Head coach Bill O’Brien called his final timeout facing with two seconds left.
“Everybody’s got to be faster,” he said, “Like I always say, it starts with me. You’re saving the timeout for a 4th down. We just didn’t get it done. I don’t want to hear and B.S. about clock management.”
Eddie Peasant recorded his first career sack and forced his first career fumble late in the second quarter and Lamarr Houston picked up the loose ball and returned it 34 yards for his first career touchdown.
Pleasant picked up his second career sack on the next drive and finished the game with three tackles.
Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton caught two touchdowns and finished with 175 receiving yards. His first score came on a 45-yard bomb from Jacoby Brissett in the first quarter and he scored again from 80 yards out in the third quarter.
Hilton continued into the end zone after a seemed as if corner Kevin Johnson touched him down after a long completion. It was determined that he was never down and the touchdown call was upheld after a review.
Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri made two field goals and two extra points. The 44-year-old veteran needs 107 points to pass Morten Anderson for most points in the NFL history.
Three of the next four game for Houston are on the road beginning with a trip to Los Angeles to face off with the red-hot Rams next Sunday. The Texans return home on Nov. 19 against the Cardinals before heading to Baltimore and Tennessee.
The list of players sidelined or no longer with the team is long and the half-full stadium didn’t help a lethargic Houston team overcome an arguably weaker opponent.
“At the end of the day, a lot of players they want to watch are not out there, but we’re not done,” Pleasant said. “That doesn’t affect players that are in here when it comes to getting hyped for a game. If you can’t get hyped for an NFL game, you’re in the wrong business.”