Arian Foster, Texans' Ground Game Help Bury Colts, Past
But whereas in the past the Texans squandered leads to lose to their nemesis -- the Indianapolis Colts -- on a regular basis, on Sunday the Houston defense was too good and the defense too resilient and the Texans beat the defending AFC Champions, 34-24, at Reliant Stadium in the 2010 regular-season opener.
Texans running back Arian Foster, who moved into the starting lineup in the offseason after spending much of the previous year on the practice squad as a rookie, rushed for a franchise-record 231 yards and three touchdowns, with Houston controlling momentum through most of the game.
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning completed 40 of a career-high 57 passes for 433 yards and three touchdowns, but while the Colts cut into an early 13-0 Texans lead late in the first half, Houston controlled the momentum in the second half with a dominant rushing performance.
"They just kept pounding -- pounding us until we broke," Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden told Colts Radio afterward. "They schemed well and did their job. They did what they planned out to do and we didn't.
"Credit to them. They did what they planned out to do and we didn't."
Foster rushed for 191 yards in the second half, including 78 yards on three carries during a dominant, game-turning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter in which Houston moved 91 yards on four plays. Foster's 25-yard run capped the drive and gave Houston a 17-point lead, 27-10.
The Texans, who lost leads of 17 points to the Colts each of the past two seasons, had lost 15 of 16 games to Indianapolis. The Colts, the defending AFC and AFC South champions, had won six consecutive games against Houston, with the last Texans victory coming in 2006.
The victory was huge for Houston, which won its last four games of 2009 and entered the season with high expectations. Their 9-7 record last season was the best in franchise history, and beating Indianapolis was a much-discussed goal throughout the offseason.
That they accomplished it doesn't guarantee anything, but it gets them off to as positive a start as was possible.