NFL Wire News

Week 15 Preview: Colts at Texans


Houston Texans (7-6) at Indianapolis Colts (9-4)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis – TV: CBS

*TV announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

*Keys to the game: Given T.Y. Hilton’s four TD catches and two career-best performances in the past two meetings, Houston will double-team the speed demon and demand any other player emerges as the difference-maker for the Colts. It could be rookie outside WR Donte Moncrief, who runs a limited route tree but has enough speed to dent a defense distracted by coverage elsewhere. A limited running game too often puts QB Andrew Luck in the direct line of fire, and Texans DE J.J. Watt is one of the biggest guns in the league.

Texans RB Arian Foster looked healthy last week – 127 yards at Jacksonville – and thrives against the Colts. That’s good news for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who needs the threat of play-action to confidently set and shoot from the pocket. Fitzpatrick has a career-best 95.9 passer rating but needs to be bold in the red one. The Texans can’t win with field goals against Indy’s offense.

*Matchup to watch – Luck vs. Watt: Two young athletes in their prime who belong on the MVP ballot, Luck and Watt had a memorable first meeting this season in Houston. Luck won the game thanks to a fast start, but Watt was a one-man wrecking crew. He batted down passes, harassed Luck all evening and generally made life very difficult.

*Player spotlight – Colts WR Reggie Wayne: He’ll see some single coverage, but how Wayne tolerates a torn pectoral muscle will determine his effectiveness.

*Fast facts: Watt leads the NFL with 51 sacks since entering the NFL in 2011. … Luck is 4-1 career against Houston.


The Texans have never won a game in Indianapolis – 0-12 all-time. With a conference-best plus-12 turnover margin, this could be Houston’s year if nemesis Hilton can be contained. We’re betting on Luck delivering late in the game yet again.

*Our pick: Colts 34-31

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