INDIANAPOLIS -- An 18-point halftime deficit forced the Indianapolis Colts into a position most fans wanted them to be in this season.
No, I'm not talking about trailing by 18 points. But rather quarterback Andrew Luck dropping back in the pocket and throwing the ball.
The Colts ran the ball only four times in the second half of their 27-24 victory over the Houston Texans. And three of those four runs came on their final offensive possession when they were trying to burn some clock.
“The scoreboard somewhat dictated our decision to do what we felt like we needed to do to score points and score points fast,” offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said. “We felt like we ran the ball well early in the game. We ran the ball extremely well, as a matter of fact, averaging 4.9 yards per carry or so. But of course we had to do what we just talked about. We had to open it up some to score some points and finish the game off.”
The Colts finisned with a 4.9 yards average but Donald Brown and Trent Richardson combined for 65 yards on 10 attempts in the first half. But quarterback Andrew Luck didn't have much time in the pocket to pass the ball. He was 3-of-12 for 56 yards and he was sacked three times while also taking a number of hits.
Indianapolis went into the locker room trailing 21-3 at halftime.
“We know we need to execute better, much better to start games,” Luck said. “You can't survive your mistakes forever in a sense.”
Brown rushed for 5 yards on their second offensive series in the third quarter. That was it for Indianapolis' running game until its final offensive series.
The offensive line did a better job protecting Luck in the second half, as he was 15-of-28 for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the final 30 minutes of the game. The 40 attempts were the second highest of the season for Luck.
Was the second half Sunday a sign of things to come for the Colts in the second half of the season? They have attempted 267 passes and ran the ball 213 times this season.
“Oh no, we want to do whatever we need to do to get first downs and score touchdowns,” Hamilton said. “We don't go into a game with the expectations of running the ball more than we throw the ball or vice versa. A big part of what we have to do schematically is consider what they're doing and then make the appropriate adjustments. And we'll continue to take that approach.”