By Jay Betsill
Sunday – November 3 – 7:30 PM
Reliant Stadium – Houston
The Houston Texans return from their bye week to host the first place Indianapolis Colts (also coming off their bye week) on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. It is a homecoming for Colts QB Andrew Luck, who threw for 7,139 yards and 53 touchdowns in his career at Stratford High School in Houston. Luck will be facing Case Keenum, who will remain the starter ahead of Matt Schaub following his15-of-25 for 271 yards performance in the 17-16 loss to Kansas City.
“I’ve got to make decisions I think are best for the football team right now,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “The decision I made was based on what I saw take place with Case and him taking advantage of an opportunity. I want to see him move forward.”
Texans linebacker Brian Cushing became the latest starter to be lost when he suffered a fractured fibula and a torn lateral collateral ligament in his left knee. Cushing is out for the second consecutive year due to a left knee injury. The Colts, who enter the game with a three-game lead over the Texans in the South, will be without veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Wayne was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, ending a consecutive games streak that dated back to 2001. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey will be expected to step up in Wayne’s absence.
“They’ve got game-wreckers all over the place,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said, of the Texans top-ranked defense led by Pro Bowlers Antonio Smith and 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. “They’ve got a front seven that is as good as anybody in football.”
While Houston has not lost six straight since 2005, look for the Colts to leave Houston with their first road win against the Texans since 2009. Colts 27, Texans 13