Dec 30 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts fans cheer and hold up signs for head coach Chuck Pagano (not pictured) before the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
When the Houston Texans square off against the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday, they’ll be looking for the franchise’s 1st win in Indianapolis.
That’s right, since the Texans’ inaugural season in 2002, the NFL’s most recent expansion franchise is 0-12 combined at Lucas Oil Stadium and the RCA Dome. Despite being AFC South rivals, the Texans have never beaten the Colts in Indianapolis. In what has been one of the NFL’s more impressive winning streaks, the Colts will hope to have that streak continue to 0-13 after Sunday’s game.
According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, it’s not just that the Texans have gotten beat. It’s that they’ve been mostly dominated in Indianapolis against the Colts:
"“They [Texans] have allowed 30.4 points a game. They have been beaten by an average of 14.7 points. Only three times have they lost by fewer than 11 points.”"
It’s nothing new for the Colts, who have largely been the toast of the AFC South since its inception in 2002. The Colts have won 8 of the 12 AFC South titles and also have 11 playoff births during the division’s 12 years of existence. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans have 2 division titles and 2 playoff births. While the Texans sit at just 7-6 on the season with slim playoff hopes, they still have something to play for on Sunday regardless; the end of an embarrassing losing streak in Indianapolis:
"“We haven’t won in Indianapolis, and that’s a big thing,” Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien said."
22 December 2011: Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (87) catches the winning touchdown pass against the Houston Texans and celebrates during game action.
While the Colts have boasted some great teams and players respectively in this rivalry, my favorite game between these two teams in Indianapolis was in 2011, when the 1-13 Colts somehow beat the Texans with a final score of 19-16 to keep the undefeated home winning streak alive.
The Texans were 10-4 entering that December 22, 2011, Thursday Night fooball game, and they somehow still couldn’t beat that season’s lowly Colts. This is even despite the latter’s diminished roster and talent, and the Texans’ Arian Foster running wild for 158 rushing yards and a touchdown.
In that game, Reggie Wayne stole the show with his late game heroics. All-in-all, he had 8 receptions for 106 receiving yards and a touchdown, with his game winning score coming with 0:24 left in the 4th quarter to put the Colts up ahead 19-16 in the game’s closing seconds. His star performance was with Colts’ 3rd-string quarterback Dan Orlovsky at the helm too.
Of course, 2011 was the year before the Colts landed the #1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and selected QB Andrew Luck by having the NFL’s worst record. Luck has done his fair share of keeping the Texans winless in Indianapolis, having gone 2-0 previously. If he has his way on Sunday, it will be 3-0, and the Texans’ horror show will continue in Indianapolis.
Dec 30 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano points to the fans while walking off the field after the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Houston 28-16. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports