At the beginning of the season, the Colts' week 9 match up appeared to be just another divisional meeting between Indianapolis and Houston. Fast forward 8 weeks and the game has an entirely different feel.
The Colts went into Sunday night without their star veteran wide receiver, Reggie Wayne. Wayne sustained a season-ending injury during the Colts' upset over the Broncos in week 7.
After the departure of many veterans in 2012, Wayne stepped into a leadership role both on and off the field. His absence on the field was apparent, but his leadership never wavered. Despite missing the initial flight to Houston with his teammates, Reggie made it a priority to be there for game day. To the Colts, Wayne was always by their side as they placed his jersey on his seat on the Colts' plane.
The Colts were not the only team with a major change to their offense. The Texans decided to change their quarterback in week 8 to undrafted free agent, Case Keenum. Going into Sunday night, Keenum had only one NFL start under his belt.
Facing a young, inexperienced quarterback may have seemed like a positive for the Colts. However, having little film on Keenum gave the Colts a challenge when preparing for the Texans. That was apparent for much of the game as Andrew Luck struggled to find any consistency until the second half. Kennum, on the other hand, prospered.
The Texans dominated the first half as Keenum connected with WR Andre Johnson in the endzone three times. In return, Indianapolis was only able to come up with an Adam Vinatieri field goal to avoid being shut out. The Colts trailed the Texans 21-3 at halftime.
In Colts fashion, Indianapolis refused to give up the fight. They came from the locker room on a mission and were the first to score in the second half. Vinatieri kicked a 35 yard field goal. Houston replied with the same on their next drive.
The Colts then responded with a 10 yard Luck to T.Y. Hilton touchdown late in the third. The Colts attempted a two-point conversion but were unsuccessful. At the end of the third quarter, the Colts had narrowed the gap, 12-24.
Taking it one play at a time, the Colts continued to rally in the fourth quarter. While the defense was able to shut Houston out in the fourth, the Colts found their groove.
Luck connected to Hilton twice in the fourth, giving them as many TD passes as Keenum to Johnson. On their final touchdown, the Colts went for another two-point conversion, this time successful.
Keenum and company put up a good fight, but in the end the Colts did what they do best. The Colts defeated the Texans 27-24. Sunday night gave Luck his 10th comeback victory as an Indianapolis Colt.