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Regardless of skill, the Colts defense won’t be completely healthy for this one, and these Romeo-enhanced Texans are on a winning streak, so take the points and Houston and hope Philip Rivers doesn’t shock the world.
Texans +3 (-100)
|Colts vs Texans Information
|Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans
|NRG Stadium in Houston, TX
|Sunday, December 6, 2020; 1:00 PM ET
|How to watch
The Colts, normally strong defensively, were too banged up in Week 12 to field a healthy squad, and as a result, they suffered a 26-45 loss to the Titans, and that happened despite the fact that veteran quarterback Philip Rivers put up decent numbers, throwing for two touchdowns and about 300 yards with a pick.
With interim head coach Romeo Crennel at the helm, the Houston Texans are 4-3, and suddenly this talented Houston franchise that boasts Deshaun Watson at quarterback and Duke Johnson rushing out of the backfield might just have a chance to beat these injured Colts and somehow work their way into the upcoming postseason.
These two AFC South franchises have played each other 37 prior times (including 1 postseason game), with the Houston Texans winning 9 of those games and the Indianapolis Colts winning 28 of the games.
In Week 12, the Titans (mainly RB Derrick Henry, 27 carries for 178 yards, 3 TDs) ran all over the Colts, and their normally dependable defense looked porous and incapable of open-field tackles in the team’s fourth loss of the season.
The Colts have lost safety Malik Hooker (Achilles) and wide receiver Parris Campbell (knee – MCL) and there are still at least five key players listed as questionable for this one, so this could be another repeat of their Week 12 shortcomings.
But the NFL is the next man up the league, especially in 2020, so expect the league’s sixth-best pass defense to still put a lot of pressure on the opposing QB Watson for all four quarters.
The Texans have a winning record of 4-3 ever since head coach Bill O’Brien was fired at the beginning of October and the team let Romeo Crennel take over in the interim.
Now the question is whether Crennel can continue to get the most out of the talent the team has – QB Deshaun Watson, WR Brandin Cooks, and DE J.J. Watt, for example – to win enough games the rest of the season to qualify for one of the AFC’s three Wild Card playoff spots.
The Texans are currently 12th in line for the seven playoff spots, so in order to move up and qualify, a win against these limping Colts is essential, and somehow improving their 30th ranked defense seems to be a critical place to start.
One of the keys to the Colts defense is second-year linebacker Bobby Okereke, who is a hard hitter and effective in pass coverage, so far this season with an interception, 4 passes defended, a fumble recovery, a quarterback hit, and 54 combined tackles with 4 of those for a loss.
Okereke is dealing with an ankle issue right now and is currently listed as questionable for Week 13, so he will most likely be a game-time decision for head coach Frank Reich.
The Colts have the fifth most effective defense in the league, which is bad news for the Texans struggling offense, but if Okereke and others can’t suit up, it will be up to their backups to get the Week 13 job done.
The 4-7 Houston Texans are not used to losing this many games this early on, especially quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has been healthy enough to play but ineffective enough at times to cause some doubters to start whispering.
But Watson’s numbers are solid – he has completed almost 69 percent of his passes for 3,201 yards and 24 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions on the season while leading the league right now in yards per attempt (8.8), adjusted yards per attempt (9.5) and yards per completion (12.8).
The key to beating the Colts in Week 13 is for Watson to stay safe (he’s been sacked 28 times this season) and stay mobile (he has carried the ball 62 times this season for 293 yards and 2 touchdowns) while hoping that his 30th ranked defense can get him back on the field more often.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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