Looking at their schedule prior to the season, it was easy to assume the Indianapolis Colts were set up for failure. Many naysayers criticized the abrupt changes made following their 2-14 finish in 2011. Despite the circumstance, the Colts refused to let any negative thought to enter their mind. From beginning to end, the Colts fought with everything they had to reach their goals in 2012. Indianapolis' 28-16 victory over the Houston Texans in week 17 proved just that.
When other teams would have benched their starters, the Colts wanted to give their true blue fans what they deserved. This epic season was as much for the 12th man as it was for themselves. After everything that transpired last season, Colts fans remained loyal and enthusiastic. The Colts emulated this by being the best they could be despite the circumstances.
From even before the kickoff, anyone in Lucas Oil Stadium could tell week 17 was going to be one to remember. Walking through the corridors, there was a different feel to the place. When Chuck Pagano was first shown on the big screens, the crowd erupted in a way that brought tears to the coach's eyes. Throughout the game, the fans never backed down making it the more electrified game all season.
The Colts seem to feed off their emotion and the crowd's reaction as they stormed the field. As Indianapolis won the coin toss, it looked like luck was on the Colts side from the beginning. The Colts set the pace early in the game. Their first drive started on their own 25 yard line and ended in Houston's end zone with a Coby Fleener touchdown.
As the Texans attempted to return the favor, the Colts defense had a different plan. Houston was kept out of the end zone and forced Shayne Graham to kick a 51 yard field goal. The first quarter ended with the Colts still on top.
Early in the second quarter, the Texans were able to get within field goal range once again, shortening the Colts' lead to 7-6. After a drive ending in a punt, the Colts defense kicked it into overdrive. Colts CB Vontae Davis picked off Matt Schaub on the Indianapolis 35.
Colts rookie QB, Andrew Luck, capitalized on Houston's misfortune, leading his team into the end zone once again. RB Vick Ballard marched in for a one yard touchdown, extending the Colts lead over Houston. Unable to strike back, the Texans left for the locker room down 6-14.
The Texans returned after halftime with one thing on their mind, keeping their number one seed. Schaub successfully led Houston down the field to score their first touchdown. The Texans followed that up with another field goal, claiming the lead for the first time.
Just when it seemed Houston had found their stride, they allowed Colts RB Deji Karim to charge down the field 101 yards for his first career touchdown. The Colts allowed Houston to have the lead once and that lasted for less than a minute.
The fourth quarter went as well for the Texans as the entire game had. The only point put on the board resulted from a Colts touchdown. Luck threw an explosive 70-yard touchdown reception to rookie WR T.Y. Hilton.
As if things were not bad enough, the Colts defense added insult to injury. Davis intercept Schaub yet again, this time in the end zone. The Colts held onto the ball for the rest of the game, deciding to take a knee rather than going in for one more score. The Colts are nothing if not classy.
The Colts certainly had an impressive game with multiple interceptions, explosive plays on both sides of the ball and an astonishing kickoff return score. On top of all of that, the defense was also able to get through the Texans line, getting four sacks on Schaub.
Coach Chuck Pagano could not have asked for a better game for his return to the sidelines. From the beginning of the season, the Colts have been proving everyone wrong. Overcoming obstacles have become a source of motivation to them. It certainly worked this season. The Colts look to keep the fight going on Sunday when they travel to Baltimore for a Wildcard Weekend showdown against the Ravens. The game will be aired on CBS at 1 p.m.