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Texans blow another chance in 28-16 loss to Colts

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm •  Published: December 30, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Houston's latest loss had nothing to do with Chuck Pagano's return Sunday.

It was all about what the Texans didn't do: take advantage of their chances.

Matt Schaub threw two interceptions and Houston gave up a 101-yard kickoff return and a 70-yard TD pass on third down in a 28-16 loss at Indianapolis that cost the Texans home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

The good news is they'll play at home against Cincinnati. The bad news: They're playing next week.

"With all we had to gain today, we fell short of what we were trying to get done," a frustrated Schaub said. "There were plays to be made."

Again, Houston (12-4) failed.

So instead of heading into the playoffs with momentum, the Texans are going into the postseason with three losses in four weeks, two blown opportunities to clinch home-field advantage and a wild-card round game they hoped to avoid. The Colts (11-5) will play at Baltimore in the wild-card round next weekend.

And just like last week, in a befuddling loss at home to Minnesota, nothing went right.

The Texans settled mostly for field goals and when they did finally take the lead with 5:22 left in the third quarter, they gave it right back on Karim's kickoff return. Houston is 0-11 all-time in Indy.

"You've got to handle it like a man and move on," coach Gary Kubiak said. "But we're very capable of flipping it back the other way, too, and that's what I'm going to focus on."

For the Colts, it was a day for dancing.

For the first time since Sept. 23, Chuck Pagano took his customary linebacker stance on the sideline, hands on bended knees. He signaled touchdowns when the Colts scored, patted Karim on the helmet after the kickoff return, and gestured for penalty flags to be thrown.

And after the game, Pagano even tossed aside the stodgy image of an NFL coach and began jumping around with players, assistant coaches and even team owner Jim Irsay like he was a kid again.

Why not after spending the last three months battling cancer?

"There was a lot of high-fiving, a lot of dancing, a lot of hugging going on and a lot of celebrating," an emotional Pagano said. "There's a lot to celebrate right now."

And not much to celebrate in Houston, even if the AFC South champions made the playoffs for the second straight year.

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