That 17-0 hole, the two Peyton Manning first-half interceptions and the 20-7 halftime deficit against a quick strike Texans' offense that seemed poised to snap Houston's two-game losing streak?
No problem. All of it was summarily erased, with a staggering run of 28 unanswered points that showed why Indianapolis (11-0) remains one of the NFL's models of consistency and poise.
The Colts clinched the AFC South title when the 49ers knocked off the Jaguars in San Francisco later on Sunday afternoon, making Indianapolis' most recent comeback effort even more satisfying.
"It just goes to show you what kind of bond we have to just stick in there and not panic and keep playing just like [we have] the last four weeks," said wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who caught one of Manning's two second-half touchdown passes.
Still, the wear and tear of these Manning-led comebacks is taking a mental toll: At some point, Indianapolis will have to stop sitting back and expecting something positive to come from handing over a bushel of points.
"I can assure you that none of us are coming out and intending to spot them 17 points," Colts All Pro center Jeff Saturday said with a huge laugh. "You spot a team 17 points, usually you're not going to win."
But the Colts have done this twice in the last three weeks -- they trailed the New England Patriots 24-7 in Week 10, but emerged on top 35-34 when Manning threw a touchdown pass to Wayne with 13 seconds remaining.
"Yeah, but by no stretch of the imagination are we trying to do that, thinking, 'Oh, we can always come back.' " Saturday said. "I don't think there is any quit in this team at all. But this is not a script we want to get familiar with.
"You don't spot teams 17 points in the playoffs, I can assure you that."
The Colts (11-0) have now won 20 consecutive regular-season games, one shy of the 21-game record set by the Patriots from 2006-2008. What's more, Sunday's second-half headlock on the Texans (5-6) means Indianapolis has won 11 or more games in seven consecutive seasons, an NFL-best mark for regular season dominance.
Still, if you ask the Colts about their undefeated record, their 20-win streak in the regular season or that division title that became theirs while they were on the plane back to Indianapolis, you won't get much of a stir.
"I'll say this -- the guys that have been here throughout those  games are professionals," said Manning, who took advantage of his quick snap offensive scheme and the Colts' balanced rushing attack in the final two quarters to run up 215 yards of offense on a staggered Texans' squad. He took only 22 snaps in the first half.
"You like being around guys that have respect for their job and take it seriously," Manning said. "That doesn't guarantee you're going to win every game, but you sure like the way you feel about your team going into each game."
That is the overriding sense among the Colts, that if one part of the machine fails, a replacement piece is right there. Or if the offense falters -- as was the case in the first half against Houston -- the defense will bail everyone out.
You could see that give-and-take in a brilliant Indianapolis scoring burst in the fourth quarter, when the Colts scored two touchdowns in an 18-second span. Trailing 20-14, Manning (27 of 35 passing, 244 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions) hit tight end Dallas Clark on a 6-yard scoring pass.
On the ensuing drive, linebacker Clint Session picked off Texans quarterback Matt Schaub and ran 27 yards into the end zone.
"It's football -- how bad do you want it? They wanted it bad, but we wanted it a little bit more," Session said of the Texans. "That's a good team over there, but we're the Colts and we do things the right way and we try to get every win we can get."
Lately the Colts haven't been playing complete games, and the emphasis down the stretch will be on getting a complete 60-minute contest.
"Digging for 60 minutes, every football player has that concept in their mind, and that's what we need to do," Session said.
Getting All Pro defensive end Dwight Freeney back may help that. He was inactive Sunday with an abdomen injury. The Colts also have been playing without regular placekicker Adam Vinatieri, who has been out with a knee injury.
But while Saturday's comfort zone is being tested with so many comeback efforts, Colts coach Jim Caldwell conceded this kind of resilience gives his team an added measure of confidence that it can overcome anything, at anytime.
"I think our guys have grown accustomed with traveling with what we call our little 'packet' of poise, confidence, pride and passion, because you have to take that on the road to win in this league," Caldwell said of his players. "They do a good job of displaying a lot of poise when things are tough, showing some confidence and playing with a lot of passion and pride."
And what about Sunday's eight-point win? How did it feel to win by more than a touchdown for a change?
"It's the largest margin of victory we've had in a couple of weeks," Caldwell said with a huge grin, "so I do think I should smile a little bit, right?"