The first tie of the 2022 season belongs to the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, by a score of 20-20.
The Houston Texans lost the lead late, and had a poor fourth quarter, but at least they didn’t lose the game in Week 1 at NRG Stadium with the home team tying with the Indianapolis Colts, 20-20 in overtime.
Houston’s tie does snap a four-game losing streak against their AFC South rival, and it is the second straight year they’ve not lose their season opener. Though there is still a lot of work to do with this team, the Texans played well at times, and at other times they didn’t, allowing the Colts to rally in the fourth quarter to eventually tie the score.
Houston was lucky as the Colts outscored them 17-0 in the fourth quarter, and 17-10 in the second half. Houston led 20-3 after three quarters.
Texans quarterback Davis Mills finished 23-of-37 for 240 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, but he did have a fumble. Mills’ quarterback counterpart, Matt Ryan finished 32-of-50 for 352 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Houston should have used their rushing game better, but the duo of Rex Burkhead and Dameon Pierce combined for 73 yards. Pierce finished with 33 yards on 11 carries, while Burkhead had 14 carries for 40 yards. Neither running back had a touchdown.
Brandin Cooks led Houston in receiving with seven catches for 82 yards, followed by tight end OJ Howard finishing with 38 yards on two receptions as both were touchdowns.
As for the Colts, Jonathan Taylor finished with 31 carries for 161 yards rushing and one touchdown. Their receiving leader was Michael Pittman Jr. with nine receptions for 121 yards and one touchdown.
Texans: Some quick thoughts on the game
One of the big positives for the Texans was the addition of OJ Howard and his presence already paying off. Howard scored a 22-yard touchdown in the third quarter off a pass by Mills, and at the tie it gave Houston a 20-3 lead, and his two catches were touchdowns.
Another plus for Houston is linebacker Christian Kirksey had a fumble recovery against the Colts to start the season. It is good to see Kirksey build off some of the success he had last year in the season opener. Kirksey also had a QB hit against the Colts.
The secondary of the Texans was improved this game compared to last season. It was good to see that improvement in the first game of the season, especially with the defense having a total of 11 passes defensed in Week 1.
Houston’s tackles leader in Week 1 was Kamu Grugier-Hill with 18 total tackles, with 14 of those solo tackles. In his NFL debut, Jalen Pitre had five solo tackles, and rookie teammate Derek Stingley Jr. finished with three solo tackles. Again, the rookies being on the field and learning is a positive for the season opener.
A tie is better than a loss, but to see the Texans implode in the fourth quarter and overtime with no points and allowing 17 points is worrisome going into the second week of the season. The good thing is this is a learning experience for Houston, and they will learn from that fourth quarter and move onto the next game.