Texans vs. Colts: Keys to Victory


It’s beginning to look like Andrew Luck will miss his second straight game.

While this is good news for Texan fans, I harbor an immense amount of respect for Luck, and I hope he can return to the field soon.

On top of Luck not being able to go, Matt Hasselbeck was reportedly fighting a virus in the emergency room until 2:00am, and he is still feeling the effects.

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With the most important position possibly going to be played by a 40 year old with a virus, I believe the Texans have a great chance to get the win, and come out of Thursday’s game atop the AFC South.

Run, run, and run some more. This should be the narrative repeated daily, maybe even hourly, in practice this week. Arian Foster should have full availability, but I don’t expect to see 25+ carries for him. He should get consistent carries throughout, while being spelled by Chris Polk or Alfred Blue. Hopefully an offensive lineman won’t cause another fumble in this week’s action.

Mallett will have a better time this week against a very poor Indianapolis defense. They rank 27th overall in total yard allowed, and hover in that range in about every statistical category for team defense.

With Cecil Shorts III and Nate Washington nursing injuries during the short week, rookie wide receivers Jaelen Strong and Keith Mumphrey must step up and make plays come Thursday night.

Fortunately, the offensive line will remain the same 5 starters as they lined up last week against Atlanta. While they only were able to muster a paltry 3.2 yards per carry on the ground, they only allowed one sack on the day. Having Duane Brown back is a huge boost for pass protection for the immobile Mallett, and run blocking to open holes for Arian Foster.

Besides consistently pounding the rock against a poor Indy front, the defense needs to step up and play to the elite level at which they’re capable of performing. Last week’s display was pure embarrassment, even while they were able to hold Julio Jones to 4 receptions for 38 yards; it was more of the game flow than the defense actually containing him. When you’re up 28-0 at halftime and your star player is a bit banged up, there’s no need to go to him every play.

Exploit the Colt’s offensive line, get after the aging backup quarterback and wreak havoc all night in their backfield. That’s all that should be on the Texan defense’s minds.

I predict a convincing win to put the entire NFL on notice: The Texans are taking the AFC South this year. Houston wins 27-10.

I wrote prematurely after last week’s blowout loss to Atlanta that the Texans were done for. I shouldn’t have had such a knee-jerk reaction, but this is the peril of writing in fandom. I really do believe they can turn it around, especially due to the fact that if they get a win tonight, they’ll be in 1st place in the horrendous AFC South this year.

It’s turning out to be the NFC South of 2014: Somebody has to win it by default.

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