HOU-IND grades: Run game leads the way in Texans win

The highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Texans' win over the Colts.

| 5 months ago
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

HOU-IND grades: Run game leads the way in Texans win

Houston Texans 22, Indianapolis Colts 17

Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Texans’ win over the Colts.

Houston Texans

Quarterback grade: Brock Osweiler, 54.3

Good and bad from Osweiler in win

Osweiler came into the game with the second-most turnover-worthy throws in the NFL and he added two bad ones, first on a crossing route in which he didn’t see linebacker Akeem Ayers for the interception and one that was dangerously close to taking points off the board when he fired a pass right to the defense on the goal lie that was dropped. Aside from the two poor decisions, Osweiler did make a number of big throws, whether firing a curl route to WR Will Fuller for a key conversion or throwing a well-placed back-shoulder throw to TE C.J. Fiedorowicz down the stretch. Given some of the disastrous performances we’ve seen this season, the Texans will take this outing from Osweiler in a run-heavy attack.

Top offensive grades:

T Duane Brown, 83.2
FB Jay Prosch, 80.3
C Greg Mancz, 79.7
G Jeff Allen, 79.6
T Chris Clark, 76.5

Run game leads the way for the Texans

A number of strong performances along the offensive line paved the way for 179 yards on 40 carries. LT Duane Brown had a number of key blocks including one clear out at the second level that led to a big gain, while center Greg Mancz had two holding penalties but he did a nice job controlling nose tackle David Parry for much of the game. RB Lamar Miller benefitted most from the strong blocking as he picked up 70 of his 101 yards before contact, getting a number of free runs to the second level.

Top defensive grades

ED Whitney Mercilus, 85.4
ED Jadaveon Clowney, 83.9
S Quintin Demps, 80.9
S Andre Hal, 80.4
DI Joe Heath, 76.9

Edge defenders dominate

This wasn’t necessarily a great all-around performance by the Texans, but the work of edge defenders Jadaveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus once again stood out. Clowney registered a sack, two hits and three hurries, including a sack-fumble that ended a Colts’ drive in the red zone, good for a pass-rushing productivity rating of 11.1. Mercilus had a PRP rating of 13.1m with three hits and four hurries on 36 pass rushing snaps. Both were dominant, proving far too much for the blockers in front of them.

Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback grade: Andrew Luck, 71.9

Up and down day for Luck

This was a performance that has often been typical for Luck, in that he made some really nice throws, but also some poor decisions. On second and six with 9.33 left in the first quarter, he connected with T.Y. Hilton on a perfectly placed sideline pass, knowing that he was about to be hit. Then, on first and 10 with 6.11 left in the opening quarter, he threw a poor interception where he wasn’t under pressure. Tight end Dwayne Allen slipped on the play, but he had fallen down before Luck has even brought his arm back to pass. On plays where pressure got there, Luck had a QB rating of 62.9, and 73.6 when he was kept clean.


Top offensive grades

C Ryan Kelly, 78.1
G Jonotthan Harrison, 76.4
T Anthony Castonzo, 76.4
WR T.Y. Hilton, 75.8
TE Jack Doyle, 73.1 

Right side of offensive line struggles

It might seem off that three players from the Colts offensive line where among their top graded players on offense, but really the problem on the offensive line came on the right side, where rookie right guard Joe Haeg (34.7) and right tackle Joe Reitz (44.1) had poor games. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo allowed just two hurries, while center Ryan Kelly and left guard Jack Mewhort didn’t allow any pressure. When Mewhort went out injured, his replacement Jonotthan Harrison, allowed just one hurry. Haeg allowed three hits and four hurries, while Reitz allowed two sacks and four hurries. The Colts invested in the offensive line in the draft in Kelly and Reitz, and while Kelly has looked solid, this was the worst game of Haeg’s short career so far.

Top defensive grades:

ED Akeem Ayers, 80.5
CB Darius Butler, 78.4
CB Daryl Morris, 78.4}
CB Rashaan Melvin, 77.6
DI T.Y. McGill, 67.2

Front seven loses the battle for the Colts

There were not many positives up front for the Colts’ defense, particularly Parry getting moved out of the point of attack far too often and the linebackers getting handled at the second level. Among the bright spots was Ayers who had the interception and largely did his part in the run game while CB Rashaan Melvin had tight coverage on rookie WR Will Fuller a number of times, including a downfield pass breakup. CB Vontae Davis had a rough day despite not surrendering a catch on the stat sheet. Osweiler overthrew an open DeAndre Hopkins on a double move early in the game and Davis picked up a pass interference and defensive holding penalty later in the game when matched up against Hopkins.

PFF Game Ball: ED Whitney Mercilus, 85.4

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

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