Texans change course of history in series with Colts

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Houston Texans suddenly are making life
miserable for AFC South rival Indianapolis after Sunday’s 22-17
victory over the Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium.

From 2002 through an Oct. 8, 2015, victory in Houston, the Colts
were 23-4 against the Texans, including 13-0 in Indianapolis.

Houston (7-6) now has beaten Indianapolis (6-7) three consecutive
times, including back-to-back seasons in Lucas Oil Stadium by 11
total points.

The significance of Sunday’s win is that the Texans are 4-0 in the
division — they host Jacksonville on Dec. 18 and end the regular
season on Jan. 1 at Tennessee (7-6) — and own all possible
tiebreakers with Indianapolis, which is 0-2 against Houston and 2-3
in the division with a Jan. 1 home game against Jacksonville.

Houston plays its next two at home (Jacksonville and Cincinnati).
Indianapolis’ next two are on the road (at Minnesota and at
Oakland).

–While Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler passed for only 147
yards and no touchdowns, Texans coach Bill O’Brien thought Osweiler
was a big part of the victory.

“I think Brock did a nice job of managing the game and did exactly
what we asked him to do,” O’Brien said.

Osweiler said he was good enough.

“We’re a gritty football team,” Osweiler said. “We’re able to win
in a lot of different ways. I’m just so proud of this football
team. This was a huge win. We gave it everything we had. What the
defense did is just truly unbelievable.”

–With his 21 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown, Houston
running back Lamar Miller passed 1,000 yards for the season and has
1,010 rushing yards with three games to play.

“Without this offensive line, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to
reach 1,000 yards,” Miller said. “They made my job easy. They got a
lot of movement up front.”

–While Texans kicker Nick Novak attended high school in Virginia
and played college football at Maryland, he always will have fond
memories of Indiana, living parts of several summers in Lafayette,
where his parents were college professors at Purdue — 65 miles
from Lucas Oil Stadium.

His memories of Indiana were enhanced Sunday when he tied a
franchise record with five field goals — 21, 52, 24, 41 and 34
yards — and now is 28 of 33 this season.

“Novak was unbelievable,” O’Brien said. “I just told him in the
locker room that he came up big for us. I am not sure that we can
really kick too many field goals and beat the Colts, but give a lot
of credit to Nick Novak. He did a nice job.”

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