Houston's godzilla-esque monster can provide the running yards to halt the Colts...
There are ebbs and flows in every division in the NFL. One year you can be on top of the world, the next you can be down in the deepest depths and even then, you aren’t really certain how you got there. But every single season, divisional games matter that bit more. When you’re eye-level with your nearest rivals, with the bragging rights for the year on the line, the form book goes out the window and two teams duke it out for superiority. That’s precisely the situation we have in this week’s Thursday Night Football game as last year’s wooden spoon side Houston Texans host the two-time AFC South winners the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts come into this one on a three-game winning streak after losing their first two against Denver and Philadelphia and have been in rip-roaring form. They’ve put up an average of 31.2 point on offense so far, with the best passing yard average in the league of 321.8 per game so expect Andrew Luck to dominate this game and get Indy scoring fast and heavy. I think Luck is slowly grown into that top-tier quarterback and should easily rack up another 30+ on the Texans’ weak secondary, that’s as open as the wide receivers will be all night.
Don’t be deceived by the Texans’ poor record last year though, they are a feisty outfit that will step it up that extra notch in this game and have started well. They are 3-2 so far, albeit their wins coming against three less-than-stellar sides but they have kept most games close this season through running the ball, the occasional long pass and the Godzilla-esque man mountain J.J Watt.
Easily the most dominant defensive player in the game, Watt has the ability to completely disrupt a gameplan and the physical freak sometimes can’t even be double-teamed. Regardless of who he’s against, Watt will keep any QB on his toes and expect number 99 to keep the game as close as he can on his own and I’d go for Indy to win by one to six points simply because of the behemoth on the Texans.
What’s been obvious from the Indianapolis Colts so far is that they love throwing the ball. They have a steady run game that keeps the pass game more open but ironically it’s a running back with the joint-most receiving touchdowns so far this season. The former Giant Ahmad Bradshaw is leading the team for 4TD’s alongside tight-end Dwayne Allen and with Allen potentially tied up with J.J Watt in the redzone, take a cheeky punt at Bradshaw to score the first TD for Indy, he might just sneak in backwards like he did in the Super Bowl back in 2012.
But let’s circle back to the start, where we talked about these games throwing the form book out the window and a surprise in a divisional game, especially when you’re at home, shouldn’t be that surprising. Well it’s entirely possible that Ryan Fitzpatrick actually learns to throw a ball accurately, or is sensible and leans on a good run-game and J.J Watt to a Texans victory. The Colts defence is pretty much in the middle of the NFL in every category and allow over 100 yards rushing per game, so I fancy Arian Foster to run all over them.