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Three and Out: Thursday Night Football Predictions

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Didn’t we JUST do this? The BRB staff gathers to predict Thursday night’s huge match-up between the Texans and the Colts at NRG Stadium

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Texans and Colts met in NRG Stadium...**falls out of computer chair and remains there for hours**

Oh, hey, hi, good day. I’m okay now. I’m fine. The Texans and Colts play tonight on Thursday Night Football. Just a few days after Houston got curb-stomped and left for dead in Baltimore by the Ravens, they need to ball up their fists in a rage and find a way to shred through a Colts team that always gives them fits regardless of the venue.

What is the level of optimism for this game from the BRB staff? Regular readers miiiiight just have an inkling. Let’s see, shall we?

Matt Weston: Colts 30, Texans 26.

The Ravens outcoached and outplayed Houston in a brutal fashion on Sunday. The Texans had two weeks to prepare for that game. The same offensive ecosystem came rolling on out for Houston, and the Ravens were ready for it. They sat on the options when they went flex wing. They were ready for the max protect deep passes. They couldn’t run the ball on third and short. They brought the blitz and confused the Texans’ constantly shifting offensive line. Despite having Deshaun Watson and going up against a good, not dominant defense, the Texans scored just seven points. This was on Bill O’Brien and the offensive game plan failing to evolve when the opponent had competent linebackers.

The worst part is the Texans have a four day turnaround to adjust and tinker with their offense now that this last iteration has been figured out. In case you forgot, the Colts have All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard, plus linebacker Anthony Walker, and they have a top five pass defense that’s finally healthy. Jabaal Sheard, Justin Houston, Malik Hooker, Kenny Moore, the gang is all here. And, on top of all that, Indy defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus has been the architect of game plans that have shut down Houston before.

My only hope is that Houston was actually game-planning for the Colts instead of the Ravens last week. That they felt this was the more important game of the two, and didn’t think they can pull off winning both games back to back.

This is very stupid. My brain is falling out of my ears and hanging onto one of those other spiral shapes. There’s no way this is true.

BFmf’nD: Colts 30, Texans 23.

Oh, does that score look familiar? Silly me.

Compared to a couple weeks ago when we last met the Colts, the Colts are a better team and the Texans are without J.J. Watt.

After Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, Matt Eberflus is absolutely giddy about getting to Deshaun Watson. When you consider the strong correlation between teams with actual decent linebackers and the Texans’ success at beating good ones, Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker will be the difference-makers.

Capt Ron: Colts 35, Texans 9.

This season is done. What’s the point of winning the division when the team can’t beat superior teams in the AFC? Sure, injuries have settled in and strapped the Texans to a raft drifting closer to the waterfall’s edge, but Watson and a great offensive coordinator “could” overcome that and give Houston a shot at a deep run in the NFL Playoffs. Sadly, we only have one of those elements available and it won’t be enough.

The offensive system O’Brien insists on is an abject disaster. We have watched six years of this underperforming insanity. We have seen dozens of confused players fail to execute it with any consistency. We have seen opposing defenses guess the play correctly and shut it down for far too long. It’s over. This is a certified bust. It’s time to move on from this and install a more simplified working system the players can learn quickly and execute more effectively. It’s time to find a creative offensive leader to overhaul this mess and take advantage of some seriously strong talent on the roster while they are still in their prime.

Matt Burnham: Texans 31, Colts 21.

Always go with the superstar quarterback the week after an embarrassing loss.

Deshaun Watson is not going to let his team fall out of the playoff picture. Bill O’Brien might. They had plenty of chances to win at Indy last month and blew it. I expect some of those mistakes to be corrected. I expect the Texans to play like their lives are on the line. Because they basically are.

Kenneth L.: Colts 28, Texans 13.

A hangover from the embarrassment on Sunday rolls into a Thursday game against the Colts. The Texans were exposed on both sides of the ball. With Jacoby Brissett at QB, I don’t trust this secondary to be ready or capable of stopping the Colts’ offense.

Houston’s offense looked lost the entire game against Baltimore. Nothing was working. They got away in the past with the defense supporting them, but that wasn’t the case last Sunday and won’t be the case on Thursday.

Kenneth Oliver: Texans 27, Colts 21.

The Texans were embarrassed last Sunday. Deshaun Watson was embarrassed last Sunday. He suffered his worst loss since high school. I know he won’t take being blown out lightly. I expect to see one of his greater performance in what should be a slugfest for the AFC South lead.

The Texans haven’t lost back to back games since Week 3 of last season. I don’t imagine it happening in a game they know they have to have.

Mike: Colts 31, Texans 13.

Last I checked, Colts QB Jacoby Brissett has never lost to the Houston Texans. Aside from one ill-fated decision, Colts head coach Frank Reich has owned Bill O’Brien in all three of their matchups. The Texans’ secondary is still devastated by injuries. The front seven will have an uphill battle creating any sort of pressure with the Colts o-line in their way. Houston is coming off a four-day turnaround after getting slaughtered when they had two FULL WEEKS to prepare. This will be another seriously ugly Bill O’Brien resume killer on a nationally televised stage.

TexanRevJ: Colts 30, Texans 27.

The Texans have so many injuries on the defensive side of the ball and absolutely zero depth. On a short week, against a QB who has already roasted this secondary, I don’t like their chances. After Sunday’s showing, fans have very little reason to show faith in Bill O’Brien to prepare his team for a Thursday night game.

Deshaun will probably end up having a great game, but it’s not going to be enough. The defense will be unable to come up with a stop and the Texans drop two games in four days.

Tim: Texans 27, Colts 24.

Lots of negativity this week. That’s to be expected. The Texans looked so bad against the Ravens a few days ago. The Colts have historically owned the Texans. It’s a short week. The Texans have been ravaged by injury. It all adds up to feeling bad about their chances tonight.

But did you know that since he became head coach of your Houston Texans, Bill O’Brien has presided over eleven (11) “wretched” regular season losses (with “wretched” being defined as games where the Texans lost by two touchdowns or more)? His record in games the week after those wretched losses? 7-3 (with the eleventh game after being tonight’s contest). It should also be noted that three of said wretched losses occurred over the second half of the 2017 season, after Deshaun Watson was lost for the year and the Texans had a combination of Tom Savage and T.J. Yates as QB1. Say what you will about O’Brien, but the Texans have bounced back well from embarrassment during his tenure here.

Speaking of DW4, you know how many wretched losses he’s been involved in? One. Last week to the Ravens. I’ll push my chips to the middle of the table and ride with Deshaun Watson at home on a short week. It’ll be close, but I think the Texans pull this one out.

Gooooood times, folks. What are you plans for tonight’s game? Are you watching at home? Hitting the bar? Drinking to excess before the game so you can actually handle what you’re watching?

Use the comments below to let us know your plans, your predicted outcome, and your level of inebriation.