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More Colts Horror

Andrew Luck is crippling Wade Phillips' chances of becoming Texans permanent head coach

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Andrew Luck Texans Colts
Andrew Luck put up the points against the Houston Texans. Photo by Michelle Watson/CultureMap Snap
Wade Phillips Texans sideline
Houston Texans interim coach Wade Phillips watched Andrew Luck hurts his own plans. Photo by Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com
Johnathan Joseph Texans hands up
Johnathan Joseph picked off Andrew Luck to end one Colts drive. But it wasn't enough. Photo by Michelle Watson/CultureMapSnap
Andrew Luck Texans Colts
Wade Phillips Texans sideline
Johnathan Joseph Texans hands up

Andrew Luck's hardly been dominant in his second NFL season. He's struggling to raise his completion percentage (it's just above 56 percent without lifeline receiver Reggie Wayne), struggling to match last season's win total, struggling to make the Indianapolis Colts look like a legitimate Super Bowl darkhorse.

But he's only toying with the Houston Texans. And making life miserable for interim head coach Wade Phillips.

The former Stratford High School star completes nearly 70 percent of his passes in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium, racking up 158 yards and two touchdowns — including a neat close-quarters shovel pass to running back Trent Richardson for a touchdown — as the Colts roll to a 20-3 halftime lead over the still-reeling Texans.

By halfway through the third quarter, the advantage is up to 20 points.

 Interim coach is never an easy gig. You're almost always taking over a complete mess. 

His every completion cuts into Phillips' chances of earning the permanent head coaching position — as the Texans continue to rack up penalties (eight in the first half), as Case Keenum struggles at quarterback to a degree he never has before (two interceptions in the first half) as even Andre Johnson starts dropping passes.

Interim coach is never an easy gig. You're almost always taking over a complete mess.

That becomes clear on the first drive of the game when the Texans defense commits two penalties to help the Colts drive 80 yards for a touchdown. This after Phillips brought in college officials to call penalties during practice this week in an attempt to help the players break bad habits.

Still, the Texans defense seems fired up. At times in the first half, they're almost Bulls On Parade worthy. Johnathan Joseph picks off a Luck pass near the Texans end zone. When Keenum throws a pick of his own deep in Houston territory, J.J. Watt and Co. stop Indianapolis from getting a single first down, limiting the Colts to a field goal.

But the Colts still are halfway to 40 at halftime. They still have 13 first downs. Luck has still led four scoring drives in six first half possessions.

If Andrew Luck played the Texans every week, he'd actually be living up to his crazy hype.

It's certainly not what Phillips envisioned for his first game fully in charge.

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