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Previewing The 2013 Houston Texans' Regular Season: Week 8 (Colts @ Texans)

Whew! We've reached the midpoint of our weekly season preview, and Week 8 brings the rebuilt Indianapolis Colts to town. Sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck is the happy beneficiary of a spending spree that brought in a slew of free agents, but how will they pan out? Get your premature evaluation here.

Joe Robbins
The last TWO times they played:

December 16, 2012 - Colts 17, Texans 29

After a smarting loss to the New England Patriots last year, the Texans hosted the Colts for a bit of stress relief and a chance to clinch the AFC South for the second year in a row. The offense was humming but not flashy, the defense was swarming but vulnernable deep, and the special teams unit was… special, as always.

Donnie Jones shanked a 29-yard punt when the Texans were pinned deep in their own territory, giving the Colts outstanding field position. Special teams ace Bryan Braman blocked a Pat McAfee punt, recovered it, and slid across the end zone for a touchdown. Shayne Graham knocked in five field goals but missed a 50-yarder badly right before halftime. The kickoff team allowed 27.8 yards of return yardage on average. Meanwhile, Keshawn Martin only returned one kickoff for 18 yards and two punts for a total of 12 yards. You know… special.

All in all, this was a performance that somehow earned special teams coordinator Joe Marciano the game ball from Kubiak. It was a game ball of doom, you could say.

Somehow, Kubiak must've missed the performance by human hyperbole Justin James Watt. He finished the game with three sacks and four quarterback hits on Andrew Luck and helped slow down an otherwise effective Colts running attack with six tackles for a loss.

Check out the box score here and highlights of the game here.


December 30, 2012 - Texans 16, Colts 28

Will the Texans ever win one in Indianapolis? Lucas Oil Stadium is cursed. Tear it to the ground and scorch the earth.

After strong efforts from Foster, Johnson, and the defense, the Texans kicked a field goal to take a 16-14 lead with 5:22 left in the third quarter. They would hold that lead for about as long as it took Deji Karim to return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown... twelve seconds. Where's Neil Rackers when you need him? The Texans wouldn't score again and would go on to lose the game along with the chance to secure the top spot in the AFC.

Check out the box score and highlights at your own risk. The Texans stand at 4-18 all-time against the Indianapolis Colts.


How Indianapolis finished the season:

Off Yds / G Off. Pts / G Def Yds / Game Def Pts / Game
Total 362.4 22.3 374.3 24.2
Rank 10th 18th 26th 21st


What Indianapolis has done this offseason:

NFL Draft

  • 1 (24) - Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
  • 3 (86) - Hugh Thornton, OG, Illinois
  • 4 (121) - Khaled Holmes, OC, USC
  • 5 (139) - DT - Montari Hughes, DT, Tennessee-Martin
  • 6 (192) - John Boyett, SS, Oregon
  • 7 (230) - Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
  • 7 (254) - Justice Cunningham, TE, South Carolina

Key Arrivals

  • WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, April 1
  • RB Ahmad Bradshaw, June 12
  • FB Stanley Havili from the Eagles, March 28
  • DT Aubrayo Franklin, March 19
  • QB Matt Hasselbeck, March 18 (two years, $8 million)
  • DT Ricky Jean-Francois, March 14 (four years, $22 million)
  • S LaRon Landry, March 13 (four years, $24 million with $14 million guaranteed)
  • LB Lawrence Sidbury
  • OG Donald Thomas
  • LB Erik Walden (four years, $16 million)
  • CB Greg Toler (three years, $14.25 million with $5 million guaranteed)
  • OT Gosder Cherilus, March 12 (five years, $34.5 million, $10 million signing bonus)
Key Departures
  • Traded DE Clifton Geathers to Eagles, March 28
  • OL Seth Olsen, March 19
  • S Tom Zbikowski, March 15
  • LB Moise Fokou, March 13
  • CB Jerraud Powers, March 13
  • QB Drew Stanton, March 13
  • WR Donnie Avery, March 13
  • LB Dwight Freeney
  • WR Austin Collie, Feb. 16

There's been much debate on the Colts and their front office's $30+ million spending spree this offseason. Needless to say, they've certainly re-tooled their roster, but I'm not comfortable writing them off just because most of them aren't household names. The key, of course, is Andrew Luck and how he progresses from his rookie year, and a huge part of that is his supporting cast of teammates.

You'll note in the table above that the Colts were 10th in the league in offensive yards; this includes 7th in passing but only 22nd in rushing. For comparison's sake, Robert Griffin III and the Redskins were 20th in the league in passing yards while ranked 1st in the running game… 5th overall. Clearly, the Colts' offense flowed through Luck and his arm, and that's a lot of pressure for a rookie quarterback, even a highly-touted rookie quarterback like Luck.

You'll also note that the Colts were ranked 18th in scoring, and if that's going to improve in 2013, Luck is going to need help from his teammates, old and new. Will all of their signings turn out to be success stories? Of course not, but all it takes is a handful to make a huge difference on game day. We'll have a clearer picture come Week 8.


Arbitrary prediction made in June of 2013: Colts 28, Texans 34

Unlike many of my fellow writers, I'm high on Luck and his future in the NFL. If the new additions to the offensive roster are quality contributors, this game has all the makings of a shootout.


Best reader prediction: ______________

Do my job for me and write a well-written, funny prediction or insightful analysis. The best one will get put up here.


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Check out Weeks 1-7 of my season previews here. Next week… the Arizona Cardinals.