Rivers, defense help Colts to 26-20 win over Houston Texans

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Indianapolis Colts middle linebacker Anthony Walker (54) celebrates with teammates after he recovered a fumble by Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

HOUSTON – With their offense sputtering in the second half Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts turned to their defense to seal a win over the Houston Texans.

Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes in the first half and the defense dominated after that, lifting the Colts to the 26-20 victory.

The Texans had a chance to take the lead with about 90 seconds left. They were at the Colts 2 when Deshaun Watson fumbled a low snap and Anthony Walker pounced on it to secure the victory.

“It was crazy," Indianapolis coach Frank Reich said. “Obviously, that’s why it’s a 60-minute minute game and you’re never surprised by things that happen in this league ... we got a good break there. We made the break. They dropped the ball and we went and got it.”

Watson took responsibility for the miscue even though the snap wasn't great.

“I should have just caught the ball," he said. “I know it was a little low and hot, but for me I take pride in catching every snap regardless of where it is and how fast it is."

The Colts (8-4) led 24-20 at the break after Rivers threw TD passes of 21 and 39 yards. Their offense didn't score after that, but the defense held Houston (4-8) scoreless in the second half and Justin Houston added a safety with a sack of Watson in the end zone.

The safety was Indy’s third this season and the fourth of Houston’s career, tying him for the most in NFL history. Houston had three sacks, three QB hits and forced a fumble.