Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Preview

Texans fans hope to see plenty of QB T.J. Yates handing the ball off to RB Alfred Blue in the 4th quarter. Photo Courtesy: Rick Leal
Houston Texans fans hope to see plenty of QB T.J. Yates handing the ball off to RB Alfred Blue in the 4th quarter. Photo Courtesy: Rick Leal

By Darius Williams

Game Info
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sunday – December 20 – 12:00 pm CT
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana

Records Before the Game
Houston Texans (6-7, 2-4 away)
Indianapolis Colts (6-7, 3-3 home)

Entering the 2015 NFL season, neither Indianapolis Colts nor Houston Texans envisioned their playoff lives would be held in the hands of two journeyman cast-abouts in the league in 40-year-old Matt Hasselback and T.J. Yates. The Texans entered unsure of the position as Brian Hoyer battled for the position with the since released Ryan Mallet. Clarity with the position wasn’t an issue for the Colts. Since being drafted #1 overall in the 2012 draft, Andrew Luck has been and will at least for the next decade be ‘The Man’.

Injuries at the QB position brings both teams to depend on players who are best served an emergency backups at best. Both teams enter Sunday’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with identical (6-7) records. The Colts currently have the tie-breaker in the race for AFC South supremacy by beating the Texans earlier this season, 27-20, in Houston.

In the previous 13 attempts at a win in Indianapolis, the Texans have come up empty. Since the franchise got its inception into the league back in 2002, only four wins have come from the 27 contests. A first victory on the road against the Colts couldn’t come at a more opportune time. Hasselback has some nagging injuries he is playing with and things have taken a turn for the worse lately as the offensive line has struggled to protect him mightily. The Colts offense have put only 26 points up on the board the past two weeks. More will be needed for a victory against the Texans.

With J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and the oncoming Jadeveon Clowney lined up across from him on Sunday, things don’t look too promising for Hasselback in terms of having a comfortable pocket from which to throw. Clowney has been the best player on the Texans defense the last two weeks as the league leader in sacks, Watt, fights through playing with a cast on his broken left hand. Watt said playing with the cast took some getting use to and should be better for this game.

The Texans offense all season has basically been a showcase for the talented DeAndre Hopkins. The receiver ranks in the top 5 in all pertinent receiving categories. He has been the security blanket for both Hoyer and Yates. Alfred Blue played recently with some lingering injuries but is at his healthiest now. Both players should feast on a struggling Colts defense.

Prediction: Colts 20 – Texans 10