The Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans may sit at second and third place within their division but their records are drastically different. These two collide in the NFL on Sunday (1pm ET; TV: Live on CBS).
The Colts are 7-4 and currently the 7th seed in the playoffs if the season ended today. The Texans are 4-7 and closer to a top 10 pick in next year’s draft than they are to playing in a playoff game. At this point the outmanned Texans unit is playing for pride and future employment. Or is it really that straightforward? Read on for our Colts vs Texans predictions and full preview to find out.
The Colts are coming off a beat down at the hands of their division rivals in a game that had massive playoff implications. The Titans comfortably took down the Colts 45-36 as +3.5-point road underdogs at the best of the United States’ oddssetters. The vaunted Colts’ defense was exposed for much of the game. That’s two weeks in a row that the Colts gave up 31 points or more. They have only given up 28 points or more three times the entire season.
I think the Colts’ defense will be able to bounce back this week against a Texans’ offense that just lost their best offensive weapon for the remainder of the season. Texans’ star wide receiver Will Fuller was suspended six games for PED usage. Starting cornerback Bradley Roby was also suspended six games due to the same banned substance.
Fuller currently leads the team in receptions (53), receiving yards (879) and receiving touchdowns (8). This is a huge loss for an offense that has often times been mediocre even with Fuller. The Texans are in the bottom half of the NFL (17 out of 32) in average points scored per game with 24.4. The Texans will have even more difficulty this week being the first without their star wide receiver.
The Colts still have one of the top 10 defenses in the league despite two terrible performances the last two weeks. They were able to go 1-1 in those two games to stay in the playoff hunt. They rank 7th in the NFL in average rushing yards allowed per game (101.9) and 6th in average passing yards allowed per game (209.9). They will be able to bounce back against a Texans offense that has struggled at times and look like the top defensive unit that they are.
The Texans have one of the worst rush offenses in the entire league. They rank 31 out of 32 teams in average rushing yards gained per game (83.9). Running back David Johnson leads the team in rushing yards with 408 yards on the ground despite missing three games. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is second on the team in rushing yards with 293 yards. Johnson only averages 4.0 yards per rush and Watson is able to gain 4.7 yards per carry. They only have 923 yards on the ground as a team. In comparison Derrick Henry of the Titans has 1,257 rushing yards and Dalvin Cook of the Vikings has 1,130 yards.
The Colts stingy rush defense should be able to handle an inept Texans’ rushing attack and make Watson beat them through the air without their best offensive weapon. I do not know how the Texans will be able to move the ball and ultimately score. Watson is certainly good enough of a playmaker to beat them through the air, but I think the loss of Fuller is huge.
On the season the Texans are third in the NFL in average passing yards per game (277.3). Without their top target the Texans will have to rely on wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb and tight end Darren Fells. Cooks has been productive with 719 receiving yards but Cobb hasn’t been nearly as efficient with only 441 yards. He will have to step up big with Fuller on the bench. Both receivers are more third options and it will be interesting to see who can take over. I’m not confident they have nearly enough weapons for Watson to thrive on Sunday.
Our Betting Preview’s Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans Predictions & Picks Advice
This USAbetting NFL game preview believes the Colts’ defense will be able to dominate and that their offense has enough weapons to beat a lackluster Texans’ defense. The Texans rank 27th in the NFL in average points per game (27.0) and have a weak secondary. They allow 254.8 yards per game through the air, which is 23rd in the NFL.
I expect the Colts to be able to take advantage of their bad defense. I also think their defense will be able to rebound after two straight poor performances and show why they are a top 10 unit in the NFL.
As for our Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans predictions, I don’t think the Fuller suspension was quite built into the line as it opened Colts -2.5 points. The line has moved up to -3.5pts generally. I still don’t think this is quite high enough. I am going to be riding with the road favorites. I would play this as high as the Colts as -4 road favorites. I see this being a 28-20 victory. So this is the pick for this Sunday football game preview: