It’s way past time for us to get the horrible taste of last year’s home playoff defeat at the hands of the Colts out of our mouths. The Texans (4-2) will try to do so Sunday, as they visit the Colts (3-2) in an important early divisional matchup.
This would be a great time for Bill O’Brien to show us all that the last couple of weeks have not been some kind of mirage in the desert. Following two impressive wins, it would be very O’Brien-Era Texans for them to lay an egg on offense Sunday. So let’s hope things are not only better, but they are set to stay better. Here’s how the BRB staff predicts Sunday’s game:
Tim: Texans 28, Colts 24.
This is predicated on the idea that Bill O’Brien won’t try to fix what is so clearly not broken. I have trepidation about the Texans’ secondary, but I’m not sure that Jacoby Brissett is the guy to take advantage of it (though T.Y. Hilton most certainly is). I’m also wary of yet another new starting offensive line and Ka’imi Fairbairn (who I thought would definitely have been cut after last week’s foibles). Those concerns are allayed by Deshaun Watson. If O’Brien lets DW4 be DW4 again, the Texans will notch another impressive road victory.
Matt Weston: Texans 30, Colts 20.
The Colts’ offense is all run the ball, and let Jacoby Brissett game manage. They’re up against one of the better run defenses in football. If D.J. Reader can tie up the interior and allow Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham to run free, the Colts will struggle. This would be a great game for J.J. Watt to actually play the run. The only concern is T.Y. Hilton of course. He loves playing the Houston Texans more than anyone loves anything in the world. He can demolish them again this week, but it would require for Brissett to throw it downfield. Parris Campbell is super fast too. Maybe they finally use him as the deep threat he was imagined to be.
Indy’s defense has been dramatically worse than its been last season. I regret my post. They’ve had two dominant games against the Chiefs and Titans, but teams have been able to run the ball straight ahead against them, especially with Darius Leonard out, and they haven’t covered as well as you’d expect on the outside. The pass rush has been crappy. They’ll struggle to win their one v. one matchups against Houston’s offensive line. All of that being said, Matt Eberfulus absolutely pantsed Bill O’Brien in the Divisional Round last season. The Colts outplayed and outschemed Houston’s offense, funneled the ball to where they wanted it, and made plays from there.
It’s been back to back wild ‘Wait, this is the Houston Texans? This is the thing we’ve been bleeding on the floor for over the last five years is here,” performances from them. Half my chest is cut open. I’m not fully there. I need to see another week before I shut off my brain and go all in on 2019 Superbowl Houston Texans. They’re better than the Colts in nearly every way. They absolutely should win by two possessions. What’s that at the door? Why is my phone ringing? Oh god, I’m so scared.
BFmf’nD: Texans 31, Colts 27.
For now, I am giving BOB the benefit of the doubt that he’s finally seen the light regarding Deshaun Watson’s skillset. We should have seen this version of Watson since he came into the league, so it’s a disappointment from that standpoint. Now, however, this is a legit competitive team.
That said, we haven’t played a decent defense since Carolina, and with all their injuries, we won’t play one against the Colts.
As long as we are prepared for a day full of slot corner blitzes, we should come out on top, but by only one score, natch.
TexanRevJ: Texans 34, Colts 17.
It almost seems too good to be true but the Texans are the class of the AFC South. While it’s almost impossible to be confident in division games because the teams know each other so well, I’m going with the Texans because they’ve looked like one of the best teams in the NFL over the last two weeks.
Jacoby Brissett is fine for a replacement-level QB but he isn’t going to win the game for the Colts. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see T.Y. Hilton have a big game against our depleted secondary. With Bradley Roby out and Jonathan Joseph questionable, Hilton could be in for another big day against the Texans.
The Colts have way more team depth than we do but at the moment I believe in Bill O’Brien and the direction that he has this team headed. Assuming the Texans pull out the win, this team has the talent and opportunity to put together a nice win streak as we make our way to a week 10 bye.
Kenneth L.: Colts 27, Texans 24.
Look I know we have Texans fever, but not much has changed in the ways of Texans vs. Colts. Without Bradely Roby I’m afraid no one on the team has the skill and speed to keep up with TY Hilton. We will probably be placing double coverage with Lonnie Johnson and Justin Reid. That’s really the only matchup that matters for Sunday. Texans should be able to contain Marlon Mack and Eric Ebron, but until we keep Hilton under 100 yards and two TDs in a game, nothing else matters.
Matt Burnham: Texans 30, Colts 26.
There is no Andrew Luck anymore. Deshaun Watson is playing at a super high level and I don’t see the Colts defense containing him enough.
The formula they used to beat KC will not work and you won’t see that enormous time of possession discrepancy.
Bottom line, I just don’t believe in the Colts. I don’t believe in Jacoby Brissett. This Texans team feels different. I think they will make Brissett try to win with his arm and it won’t happen.
DeAndre Hopkins will have his best game since the MNF opener.
Mike: Colts 27, Texans 24.
I *want* to believe Houston can beat the Colts and do it soundly. Looking at both teams, I can’t find a statistically verifiable reason who Houston shouldn’t take this game to set themselves as the unchallenged leader of the AFC South. But, I’m still not quite sure what Houston team is going to take the field. Will it be the one who struggled to do anything offensively against the San Diego Chargers? Or the one who destroyed the Atlanta Falcons?
Colts fans might feel the same way. Will we see the team that beat the Kansas City Chiefs or the one that lost to the Oakland Raiders?
At the end of the day, my predictions haven’t gone too well this year, so I’ll work with that and pick the Colts in the hopes I’m wrong again. No matter what happens, it should be a close, back and forth game, most likely coming down to the last team to have the ball.
Kenneth O.: Texans 31, Colts 20.
I totally get that this game has trap written all over it. The Texans are still on a high from one of their most significant wins in recent history. However, this is a division rival, not a football team that the Texans play every 4 years. The Texans won’t sleep against the Colts like they did against Carolina. Plus the Texans are 3-1 in the last 4 games in Indy. I’ll ride the wave this week and say the Texans will get it done!
Please use the comments section to leave your prediction, and above all else - GO ASTROS (and also enjoy the game Sunday)!