The Texans thought they had a go-ahead touchdown.
Instead referee Tony Corrente had whistled the third-down play dead with an in-the-grasp call.
Texans quarterback Deshuan Watson avoided Jabaal Sheard and then had Justin Houston grabbing at his ankles when Sheard was coming back to join in. Watson threw the ball into the end zone to DeAndre Hopkins for what officials initially ruled a touchdown.
Corrente then indicated he had called a sack on Watson, with Justin Houston getting credit for the 9-yard loss.
The Texans had to settle for a 31-yard field goal and trail 7-6.
The Texans had used an aborted snap, which Whitney Mercilus recovered at the Indianapolis 4 to draw within one point of the Colts.