The first half was a difficult one for the Colts. On their first drive, Adam Vinatieri had his 42-yard field goal attempt blocked by Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt.
Andrew Luck was unable to get anything going early, completing just three of his 12 passing attempts for 56 yards. Luck attempted five passes in the first half to former college teammate Griff Whalen. Whalen was only able to catch one of those passes for a gain of six yards.
The Colts’ defense didn’t help their cause either. Texans’ wide receiver Andre Johnson had a big first half, accumulating seven receptions for 190 yards and three touchdowns.
At the end of the first half, Texans’ coach Gary Kubiak took a scary fall on his way to the locker room. Kubiak was taken to a local hospital and is said to be in good condition. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips took over as head coach for the remainder of the game.
Despite being targeted six times during the game, Colts’ wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had only one reception for 11 yards. Many Colt fans were venting their frustrations with Heyward-Bey throughout the game.
The Colts went into the fourth quarter facing a 24-12 deficit. Despite being down by 12, the Colts offense began to fire on all cylinders. They were able to score 15 unanswered points.
With five seconds remaining in regulation, Texans’ kicker Randy Bullock lined up for a 55-yard field goal attempt. Bullock had already missed his two previous field goal attempts Sunday night. The snap was good, the hold was good, but Bullock shanked the kick wide left, giving him three missed field goals on the night.
Although the Colts pulled out a tough victory, it has become evident that they need help at the wide receiver position. Coby Fleener stepped up against Houston, bringing in three receptions for 64 yards. No Colt had a bigger impact in the receiving game last night than T.Y. Hilton. Hilton had seven receptions for 121 yards and three touchdowns.
Hilton and Fleener were the two bright spots, but the Colts should consider bringing in a proven-veteran to help support Luck. One interesting possibility is former Browns first-round pick Braylon Edwards.
Edwards has been unable to make a professional roster since being cut from the Seattle Seahawks during the 2012 season. In 2012, Edwards registered 18 receptions for 199 yards and one touchdown despite being targeted 36 times.
Edwards struggled in his last NFL stop, but there is no doubt that he is a better option for Luck and the Colts than Whalen.
Another name to consider is one that likely won’t be a popular one, and that name is Chad Johnson, formerly known as Chad Ochocinco.
Johnson looked to be on the verge of earning a roster spot with Miami last preseason until he was arrested for a domestic dispute with his wife. Johnson was also arrested in May for violating his probation. The Dolphins cut Johnson shortly after the incident with his wife.
Some might view Johnson as a risk, especially because of his struggles while playing for the New England Patriots; he had just 15 receptions for 276 yards and one touchdown in 2011.
I’m not saying Johnson can return to his Pro Bowl form from his Cincinnati days, but, again, he can provide a more reliable threat at the age of 35 than Whalen can.
If the Colts decide to add a veteran, whether it’s Edwards, Johnson or another player currently on the free agent market, it will go a very long way as they try to minimize the void left by Reggie Wayne. If not, watching Andrew Luck for the rest of the season could be very similar to watching Tom Brady in the first few weeks of the 2013 season, when Brady didn't have Danny Amendola or Rob Gronkowski at his disposal.