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A little luck and a crucial stop go a long way as Texans beat Colts to seize control of AFC South

Deshaun Watson has reason to smile after leading the Texans into sole possession of first place in the AFC South. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Houston Texans had the officiating mini-controversy in the game’s final minute go their way. They thwarted the Indianapolis Colts’ fourth-down gamble with the outcome in the balance. And they showed that, even after failing to demonstrate four days earlier that they’re among the league’s elite teams, they nevertheless are the class of the AFC South.

They held on to beat the Colts, 20-17, Thursday night in Houston in a showdown for first place.

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“It’s about the playoffs,” Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson told Fox after the game, “about the future of the season. [There’s] still a lot more of the season to go. But we definitely needed this one.”

A game that was a bit sleepy for much of the night provided some intrigue in the final minutes. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett was stopped a yard shy of a first down on a fourth-and-seven scramble with just less than three minutes remaining. Coach Frank Reich opted for the fourth-down try from the Houston 47-yard line instead of punting, pinning the Texans deep in their own territory and relying on his defense to make a stop. Even worse, the Colts used a timeout before the failed fourth-down play.  
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