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Pro Football Focus Previews Texans-Colts (Part II)

The Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts square off with first place in the AFC South in late December on the line. Take a look at PFF's preview and analysis before the two teams take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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Hugh Thornton, presumably thinking about what J.J. Watt will do to him.
Hugh Thornton, presumably thinking about what J.J. Watt will do to him.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus has their preview of this week's titanic AFC South clash between your 6-7 Houston Texans and the 6-7 Indianapolis Colts up.  The Colts' record may be a bit misleading, though; some Texans fans think the far more important stat is that Indianapolis is 13-0 at home against the Texans. Enjoy the read and let your thoughts fly in the Comments below.

Texans Overview:

· Here’s our game analysis for Houston’s Week 14 loss to the New England Patriots.

· Read about how the Patriots were able to contain J.J. Watt and have him post his lowest grade since his rookie season.

· T.J. Yates has posted a -0.7 grade on 100 snaps this season with the Texans. He’s completed 22-of-47 passes (46.8%) for 302 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and three sacks.

· Whitney Mercilus (+20.7 overall) and Jadeveon Clowney (+19.2 overall) rank 8th and 9th respectively in 3-4 OLB rankings. They’ve combined for 12 sacks, 5 QB hits, 48 hurries and 47 stops.

· J.J. Watt is now the second highest-rated player in the NFL, offense or defense, by PFF with a +62.1 overall rating, behind only Khalil Mack of the Raiders. Watt has recorded 47 stops, 30 QB hits, 26 QB hurries, 13 sacks and five batted passes. He has the best pass rush productivity rating at 11.5 for 3-4 defensive ends, while ranking sixth with a run stop percentage of 9.4.

· Jonathan Grimes has been Houston’s highest-graded running back in the absence of Arian Foster with a +1.2 overall rating on 221 snaps. Meanwhile, Alfred Blue (-3.7 overall, 274 snaps) and Chris Polk (-3.3 overall, 239 snaps) have struggled.

Wait a minute...J.J. Watt is no longer PFF's highest-rated player? WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?

Colts Overview:

· Here’s a look back at Indianapolis’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

· Wide Receiver T.Y. Hilton ranks 16th in the league with a +10.7 overall rating. In terms of deep passing (passes over 20 yards), Hilton has hauled in 11-of-28 passes, which ranks 9th in the league, for 426 yards and three touchdowns.

· In only 28 snaps this season, Charlie Whitehurst has posted a -3.2 overall rating as he’s completed just 6-of-16 passes for 59 yards with one interception and three sacks. In 2014, Whitehurst posted a +1.6 overall grade with the Titans after completing 56.8 percent of his passes for 1,326 yards and seven touchdowns, two interceptions and 18 sacks.

· All three Colts' tight ends have negative grades, highlighted by Dwayne Allen with a -10.0 overall rating. He ranks 63rd out of 72 tight ends that have played 25% of their team’s snaps.

· Jack Mewhort leads the Colts' offensive line with a +15.9 overall rating, including a +10.4 run block rating. He hasn’t allowed a sack this season, but has allowed 8 QB hits and 29 hurries. On the flip side, Hugh Thornton has registered a -11.2 overall rating, highlighted by a -8.9 pass blocking grade. He’s allowed 3 sacks, 6 hits and 17 hurries.

· Jerrell Freeman ranks as PFF’s fourth-overall inside linebacker with a +14.3 rating, including a +12.0 run stop grade. He boasts the second-best run stop percentage amongst inside linebackers at 13.1% (27 stops on 206 run snaps).

· Greg Toler has struggled in coverage, as he rates as PFF’s 109th rated cornerback (out of 116) with a -12.2 overall rating, including a -11.4 coverage rating. He’s allowed 45 receptions on 73 targets (61.6%) for 765 yards (17 yard average) with 196 yards after the catch and five touchdowns.

· Henry Anderson has performed well as a rookie, ranking 14th amongst 3-4 defensive ends with a +12.6 overall rating. He’s recorded one sack, thee QB hits, 18 hurries and 23 run stops.

Sounds like Romeo Crennel needs to get J.J. Watt against Hugh Thornton on the interior of the line, lest the PFF world continue to spin off its axis. I don't want to live an existence where J.J. doesn't hold the key to PFF's heart.

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