“This is one of those football teams that, if you miss a turn or two and you’re not stopping them, all of a sudden, you’re in deep trouble,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “When you add a couple of turnovers to it, you can forget it against this group.”
Clark had been in a bit of a slump. In the previous two games against Baltimore and Oakland, he had two catches for 24 yards.
“I’ve played very poor the past couple of weeks,” he said. “I was very annoyed with it. You don’t get many second chances in this league. The best thing you can do is not dwell on it, not make excuses, not come up with things and really have confidence in your ability to play and confidence in your teammates.”
Clark’s first touchdown catch was a 6-yarder from Manning with 4:21 left in the second quarter. His next one was an 11-yarder from Manning with 1:41 left in the second quarter that put the Colts (13-2) up 24-7 at halftime.
Clark chipped in with a 15-yard run on a fourth-and-two at the Houston 31 early in the third quarter. The Colts faked up the middle, then Clark took a handoff from Manning on an end-around.
“It’s kind of like backyard type of football, and in the NFL, you’re really supposed to not really do that,” Clark said. “We’re not a team that really does trick plays or things like that.
Two plays later, Clifton Dawson’s 4-yard touchdown run gave the Colts a 31-7 lead.
Indianapolis already had wrapped up homefield advantage for its first playoff game, but the Colts played as though they needed the win. Even after running back Joseph Addai and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez left with minor injuries and were pulled from the game as precautions, the Colts continued to dominate.
“It was business as usual,” Clark said. “It was ’let’s go out and play Colts football.’ That’s what coach Dungy stressed all week. I just think that just shows the mind-set of this team, and the maturity of it, to respond. Guys could have easily just gone through the motions.”