Tim: Texans 21, Colts 17.
This isn't an elimination game for the AFC South title and the division's sole playoff berth, but it's close. I choose to believe that the Texans' defense will get into Andrew Luck's kitchen enough to be the difference on Sunday. This prediction assumes Jadeveon Clowney plays. I expect him and Whitney Mercilus, with an assist from emerging factor D.J. Reader, to be the largest reasons why the Texans get back above .500. There will be Colts turnovers, one of which, while not returned for a score, will provide Houston's offense with excellent field position that leads to an honest-to-goodness offensive touchdown drive.
Objectively speaking, as good as Andrew Luck is, so too is the Texans' defense. On balance, I believe the Texans are the more talented team. After never winning in Indianapolis until last December, your Houston Texans are about to have a winning streak at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Chris HDH: Colts 21, Texans 13.
The same final score as the previous two games because, why not? The Texans keep it close-ish, but as with the last two games the contest won’t feel as close as the final score indicates. The slide continues and the Texans drop their fourth in a row - yet with their schedule compared to the Colts and Titans, they somehow remain in the driver’s seat.
kdentify: Colts 13, Texans 10.
As much as this pains me to say this, we lose this game because we struggle on the road and the offense struggles everywhere they play. I don't see this being a blowout for the Colts because they suck, but at this point, I'm struggling to see positives for our offense outside of our tight ends. The ailing secondary isn't helping my warm fuzzy feelings about this team either. So since they suck and our offense sucks, I say Colts 13, Texans 10. Both teams offend their fanbases with truly sh!tty performances, but the Colts are at home, and the Texans are a bad team even when at home.
Weston: Colts 27, Texans 24.
Going to Indianapolis is the worst part of being alive for the Houston Texans. For 14 years, the Texans have been a football team. They have won in Indianapolis only once. That victory was a game where T.J. Yates blew out his knee, Brandon Weeden came in and saved the day, Jaelen Strong caught a TD, and the Texans battered Matt Hasslebeck into retirement. It took all these strange and silly circumstances for Houston to win there.
This week, all of that is gone. Andrew Luck is back and lacerating defenses like his own kidney. Despite playing behind the worst pass blocking offensive line in football, Luck has thrown 23 touchdowns, only 8 interceptions, and is 17th in DVOA and DYAR. Against him is an injured secondary potentially missing Johnathan Joseph. That means Kareem Jackson moves outside, where he’s been chasing receivers all year long, and Quintin Demps covers deep passes against receivers that flash like light.
Houston's offense is one of the worst in the league. They are playing one of the worst defenses in the league. So many times this year I have said, "This is the week Brock Osweiler needs to have a good game,” only for it to be the same sub 6.0 Y/A, 200 yard, mustering two good drives a game offense. Well here it is again. This is a week Brock Osweiler needs to have a good game. Also, the last time these two played, Houston scored nine points on their first nine drives and had an offensive explosion on their last three to force and win in overtime.
I don't think Houston will be able to hold Indy to 20 points or less with its secondary beaten up. I also don't think Houston will be held to 20 points or less. Luck is better than Osweiler. Indy's defense is too bad for Indy to win big. It's going to be close. It's going to be sad.
Capt. Ron: Colts 24, Texans 13.
The Houston offense continues to give very little reason for optimism that the Texans will put up much more than a dozen points. Hell, let's make it 13 for the third week in a row, shall we? Week after week while facing supposed "crappy defenses," Brock, Godsey and O'Brien have had access to a blank canvas to splash their artistic intent. Instead, they flounder, flail, and occasionally tap in a score here and there, but it is rarely enough to secure a confident win. They don't impose their will upon anyone. Rather, they tip-toe through the course of each game not unlike a waiter who glides through the chaos of a bar fight in a saloon hoping not to spill a drop from a precariously filled bowl of soup.
The Texans' defense is a literal M.A.S.H. unit filled with worn and beaten dogs of war who keep returning bravely into the fray. You'd think at this point that they'd rather catch up on mail from loved ones and plan some proper R&R, but they are truly stout men who do their share in what is clearly a hopeless campaign, thanks to never-ending terrible decisions from their leadership.
The Colts are not a good team, but they are good enough to beat a bad team from Houston.
Luke: Colts 24, Texans 17.
Andrew Luck and the Colts at home are just too much. I don't care if they’re another AFC South team. The rule doesn't apply when you have Andrew Luck and you're playing an offense that has all the sharpness of a spoon. Bar an epiphany by Bill O'Brien and George Godsey, this offense won't score enough to catch up to the Colts, who get to play against a defense that is littered with casualties.
Mike: Texans 23, Colts 19.
This is one of those games where Houston really shouldn't win, but does anyway (some will say just to give fans hope that the Texans can rise back up and continue dominating the division while giving a sense of false hope that they might still actually have a shot at postseason glory).
The offense gets a solid touchdown drive early, and then the defense pulls another one out late. In between the Third Coast Professional Kickball League nails 3 of 5 field goals FTW!
For the Colts, Luck manages to engineer two solid drives for 14 points and their defense catches Brock Osweiler in the Houston end zone for two more. Somewhere in their Vinatieri will hit for 3 more...
Please use the comments section below to give your take on the game. Does the slide continue, or do the Texans right the ship and finish the season strong?