The Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck head to Houston to take on Deshaun Watson and the Texans in a game of two teams that have been surprising this season. Of these teams combined last 10 games, they are 9-1, with the only loss coming from the Colts last week to the Jags. This performance by the Colts was surprising given the recent success of the Colts’ offense and the struggles of the Jaguars. However, knowing the talent of the Jaguars defense, I am not super concerned with this no-show from the Colts last week.
The Colts have been a major surprise, especially on the offensive side of the ball. In years past, we have seen the offensive line get completely destroyed by basically every single team. This year, the Colts have clearly become dedicated to fixing this problem spending a lot of draft capital to fix this situation. This season, they have been dominant in the trenches and it shows with how well their offense is doing based on the talent around them.
The Colts are one of the lesser talented teams in the NFL from a skill position standpoint, but I don’t think that it has seemed that way because of how much time Andrew Luck has had. Also, Andrew Luck has looked much healthier than he did in the first few weeks, allowing him to air the ball out and stretch the field more than he used to. The key matchup on this side of the ball will be J.J. Watt and the Texans’ D-line vs. the Colts’ offensive line.
T.Y. Hilton is much faster than the Texans secondary and he still gets the dome/fast track to his advantage in this game, even though he is on the road. We have seen Hilton really succeed vs. the Texans in the past and now he should have more time to get open than in the past. If the Colts can neutralize the pass rush, they should be able to move the ball at a better rate than most teams have this season.
The Texans offense has been very dynamic this year, having to constantly change identity due to injuries and trades this season. The season started with Will Fuller coming back from injury and DeAndre Hopkins being one of the best WRs in football. Then Keke Coutee comes into the equation and becomes a great option out of the slot. This made the Texans’ receivers look like some of the best in the league. Fuller then goes down again and Coutee struggled with injuries on and off every single week.
Now, the Texans are implementing Demaryius Thomas into the offense as the second/third option with Coutee. Thomas has gradually been used more and more and it is getting to the point that he should be able to see 6-8 targets a game moving forward. Lamar Miller had a surprising crazy game vs. the Titans going for 162 on 12 carries, but the clear threat in this game is the passing game. The Colts’ defense has been better than expected this season, but it was expected to be dreadful. This defense has done a decent job in limiting massive games and massive individual plays, but I think the Texans offense will be able to move the ball consistently enough here to have success.
Texans vs. Colts Prediction
The Texans are the more talented team, but I think this game heads towards a shootout because of each team’s defensive strengths should be limited by the offensive strengths. I will take the Colts (+4.5) in what looks to be a great game this week.