Your Houston Texans faced the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis for the first time on December 1, 2002. The Texans lost by a score of 19-3, committing fourteen (14) penalties, losing two (2) fumbles, seeing David Carr get sacked six (6) times, and accumulating 165 yards of offense.
Since then, the Texans have played the Colts in Indianapolis ten (10) more times over the next decade. The Texans are still 0 for Indianapolis. In eleven years, they have never beaten the Colts in Indianapolis.
Tomorrow, the 2-11 Texans take on the 8-5 Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Texans will do it without the head coach they had for almost eight (8) years and without the special teams coordinator they had for the franchise's entire existence. The Texans will try to simultaneously snap two (2) eleven (11) game losing streaks tomorrow--the eleven straight they've lost this season since starting out 2-0, and the eleven straight they've lost to the Colts in Indianapolis. What are the chances of that happening? One man's prediction about that, as well as three other things sure to happen tomorrow at Lucas Oil Stadium, is ready for your review below.
1. You will see immediate improvement in the Texans' special teams tomorrow. They will not become world beaters overnight, but I truly believe the days of Keshawn Martin returning it from seven yards deep in the end zone are over. I also believe you'll see better coverage and blocking now that Bob Ligashesky is running the show. After a single game, the difference between a Joe Marciano unit and a unit coached by anybody else will be stark.
2. Case Keenum lit the Colts up for a half a few weeks ago on Sunday Night Football before promptly crashing and burning after halftime. Which extreme of Case will we see tomorrow? Neither. You'll see a young quarterback who completes a few balls for 15-20 yards down the field and continues to struggle mightily with blitz recognition, escaping pressure, and consistently using the middle of the field via intermediate routes. I also expect to see an offense that's both more conservative and generally worse than what Gary Kubiak employed now that Rick Dennison is calling the plays. The Texans' offense will not be fun to watch tomorrow.
3. How about the defense? Meh. J.J. Watt will get pressure, and that'll be about it for the pass rush. Andrew Luck won't have much to worry about in the pocket. The secondary will give up a handful of long plays and buttress the Colts' offense with a terrible pass interference penalty or two. D.J. Swearinger, however, will be better than he was last week, which is to say that I have faith he won't get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct this week. I know, I'm a dreamer.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: The streaks march on to an even dozen. Speaking of marching on, so shall the Texans on their path to the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Texans 13, Colts 23.