The Colts entered their week 15 match-up with the Houston Texans controlling their fate in the AFC South: win out, and they would reclaim their place atop the division. The game didn't turn into the blowout that many - including myself - predicted it would be, as the Colts were able to keep it close, cutting the lead to 6 for a good portion of the second half - before finally succumbing to their mistakes.
And really, it's their mistakes - and some questionable refereeing - that we should focus on here. Sure, the Colts were unable to stop Andre Johnson early, and JJ Watt gave them fits all day, but a Mewelde Moore fumble on the goal line, a blocked punt for a TD, countless questionable coaching decisions, and 8 penalties were more than enough to make up the difference in a 9-point game.
Where do the Colts go from here? Well, most likely, it's still to the playoffs. They still have to win one of their last two games - either at Kansas City or at home against the Texans in week 17 - to make it official, but, barring a disaster, that will happen. The more alarming issue for this Colts team is that they've yet to play a complete game all year, instead putting together enough brilliant flashes to overcome a series of sub par opponents. One has to wonder if the Colts will be able to put together a 60-minute game this season. If they hope to be anything more than a nice story and one-and-done in the playoffs, they'll likely have to.
The Indianapolis Colts will likely win multiple division titles during the Andrew Luck Era. They were hoping the first of those titles would come in 2012. Penalties, mental mistakes, and poor coaching were all that stood in their way. The youth that had carried them to 9 wins prevented them from getting their 10th. But, it was only a speed bump, not the end of the road, and if these Colts have taught us anything, nothing is over until it's over.
After the Jump, we'll do some quick thoughts: