Admittedly, I was a wee bit off on last week's predictions. I understand if you ignore this week's edition like Bill O'Brien ignored Arian Foster on 3rd and 2 four days ago. Like Bill O'Brien, I need to prove myself anew to you. Like Bill O'Brien, I can only hope that the exemplary work I did in weeks past by
pulling predictions out of my arse boldly proclaiming what would happen days before it actually happened allows me a mulligan with you, gentle reader. Secure in the knowledge that this is a new week and that I can't let a loss in the past cause a loss in the future, I press on with three (3) things that are sure to happen this evening when your Houston Texans host the Indianapolis Colts.
1. T.Y. Hilton has played four games against the Texans. In those four games, he has 22 catches for 288 yards and five (5!) touchdowns. While Hilton has yet to find the end zone in 2014, that changes tonight. He'll get behind the Texans' secondary and find pay dirt again. Hilton adds to his reputation as a Texans killer by finishing with 7 catches for 92 yards to go along with that TD.
2. Our friends at Stampede Blue tell us that the Colts will be without their two starting guards, a starting defensive end, and their nickel corner tonight. That likely means Romeo Crennel will have J.J. Watt playing from the interior quite a bit. I fully expect Watt to get to Andrew Luck, the refs' refusal to call holding be damned. J.J. notches two sacks tonight. Bonus prediction: Houston takes advantage of Darius Butler's absence with an Andre Johnson TD from the slot.
3. Much as T.Y. Hilton has owned the Texans, so too has Arian Foster dominated the Colts. In the five healthy games he's had against Indianapolis, Foster has averaged 6.6 yards per carry and scored six TDs. While I expect Alfred Blue to steal a few carries from Foster tonight on account of it being a short week, I am calling for Arian to finish with 21 carries for 104 yards and another touchdown.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Thursday Night Football is hard on the participants. It's only been four days since the last game. That means you're dealing with players who are beat up and coaches who are operating on a shortened timetable when it comes to game-planning.
Each TNF game this season has been a blowout, with the closest game coming when the Ravens "only" beat the Steelers by 20 points in the TNF season debut in Week Two. The other three TNF games were decided by 42, 31, and 32 points, respectively. It should also be noted that the Giants were the only one of the four road teams to play on TNF thus far that emerged victorious; the home team won the other three games by a significant margin.
While I do not expect tonight's contest to be a blowout--the Texans aren't going to blow any decent team out, and Andrew Luck is far too good to allow it to happen--I do give the edge to the Texans, as flawed as they are, on a short week by virtue of playing at home. Luck will keep things close, but I ultimately foresee a win for the good guys. Texans 23, Colts 20.
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