NFL Thursday Night; Colts vs Texans

The Colts and Texans have significant strengths and glaring weaknesses. Who bends and who breaks? (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Colts rely heavily on Andrew Luck’s arm to move the football and score points. Through five weeks, Indianapolis’ offense is the ninth ranked passing attack according to Football Outsiders. When the Colts win, it’s usually a high scoring affair. In Week Five, the Colts overcame four turnovers and a miserable red zone efficiency (2/5) to beat the Baltimore Ravens. Against a more capable offense, the Colts lose that game. Since 2013, the Colts are 10-2 in games they score at least 25 points. Luck and the Colts win shootouts. If you want to beat them, your best shot is to pound the Colts’ 31st ranked rush defense and keep the scoring to a minimum.

The Texans have shown a willingness to grind wins out on the ground. They’ve run the football more than 28 teams through five weeks. Ryan Fitzpatrick is hardly an average quarterback on a great day. He’s no match for Luck in a shootout. If the Texans have any hope of winning Thursday’s key AFC South battle, they’ll need to exploit Indianapolis’ subpar rush defense. Doing so would keep Luck off the field and limit his opportunities to build a big lead, because if at any point the Texans trail by multiple scores in the 2nd half, they’re as good as dead. Of course, It’ll be up to JJ Watt and the defense to keep the Colts close and allow the Houston offense to grind out a victory. A week ago, the Texan defense was up to the task against a superior Dallas offense. The Texans still came up short but the opportunity was there, nonetheless. I don’t see why Houston can’t do the same Thursday against a slightly less potent Colts attack. TEXANS If I were Charles Barkley; Texans +3

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