The Indianapolis Colts (6-6) will head to NRG Stadium to battle the Houston Texans (9-3) in Week 14 (December 9, 2018 at 1:00pm EST). The Texans opened as 5.0-point favorites and can clinch the AFC South title with a win, which would also be their 10th straight.
The Colts are scoring admirable 27.1 points per game (8th) but were shutout by Jacksonville last week (6-0). Turnovers continued to be a problem. Indianapolis has committed 19 turnovers this season (25th), which includes two last week against the Jaguars.
Misguided Andrew Luck passes have caused an 12 of those giveaways. The rest have come from Indianapolis putting the ball on the dirt. Protecting the ball will be crucial for Luck and the Colts over the remainder of the year.
Indianapolis’s defense is built to stop the run. They only cede 104.1 rushing yards per game (12th), compared to 243.8 through the air (15th). The Colts’ stinginess against the run has led to them allowing just 23.3 points per game (15th).
The offense Indianapolis will see in Week 14 is best labelled as good, but not great. Thanks to Lamar Miller and their strong offensive line, Houston is scoring 25.2 points per game (12th). Miller leads the Texans’ third-ranked rushing attack, which is largely to thank for the points they are scoring.
The back has totaled 876 yards on the ground (sixth-most in the NFL) with three rushing TDs. As a team, Houston averages a healthy 140.8 rushing yards per game. But until Deshaun Watson and the aerial attack (22nd) can provide a better complement, this offense will remain a middling unit. Houston needs Watson to take advantage of the opportunities presented this week by the Colts’ 15th-ranked pass defense
Flipping to the other side of the ball, Houston’s defense has been unbelievable. They’re allowing just 19.6 points per game, the third-fewest in the league. Turnovers have been their calling card. The Texans have taken the ball away 20 times this season, ranking 7th in the league. And they’ve even contributed some points of their own, finding the endzone four times. Ball security will be vital for Indianapolis against this ball-hawking defense in Week 14.
Houston barely got by Indianapolis, 37-34 in OT, when these two met earlier this season (September 30th, 2018). The Texans served as the favorite in that game, too, laying 1.0 point on the road.