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Colts vs. Texans, Week 13 Preview: Look to Bounce Back in Home Away from Home

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday's AFC South matchup between the Colts and Texans.

The Indianapolis Colts (6-6) look to put last week's letdown in the rearview mirror as they shift their focus to the Houston Texans (2-9) this weekend.

Indy travels south on Sunday to their "home away from home" of sorts in the Texans' NRG Stadium. Getting a division matchup against an opponent who is seven games below .500 in a stadium that's been kind to you in the past might be the cure for what ails the Colts following their home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.

These two teams faced off earlier this season in Week 6 in what was a lopsided victory for the Colts, 31-3.

Here is everything you need to know about this Sunday’s matchup.

Broadcast Information

  • Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 5, at 1:00pm ET
  • Where: Houston, Tex.; NRG Stadium
  • Television: CBS — Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Adam Archuleta (color), AJ Ross (sideline)
  • Stream: FuboTV
  • To find out what games will be on in your area on Sunday, check here
  • Radio: WFNI 1070-AM The Fan, WLHK 97.1 HANK FM — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Rick Venturi (color), Larra Overton (sideline) | Compass Media — Kevin Ray (play-by-play), Brian Baldinger (color)
  • On-Demand: NFL Game Pass (after the fact)

All-Time Series

  • Colts lead, 30-9 (1-0 in the postseason). The Colts have won six of the last seven matchups dating back to 2018.
  • Last game: Week 6 of 2021; Colts won, 31-3.

Coaching Staff

  • Colts: head coach Frank Reich; offensive coordinator Marcus Brady; defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus; special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone
  • Texans: head coach David Culley; offensive coordinator Tim Kelly; defensive coordinator Lovie Smith; special teams coordinator Frankie Ross

Injury Report

Colts

  • QUESTIONABLE — DeForest Buckner (knee/foot), Jack Doyle (knee), Andrew Sendejo (calf)

Texans

  • QUESTIONABLE — David Johnson (illness/thigh), Roy Lopez (illness), Chris Conley (illness), Brandin Cooks (illness), Jonathan Greenard (foot), Cole Toner (illness)
  • OUT — Danny Amendola (knee), Terrence Brooks (hamstring), Justin McCray (concussion), DeMarcus Walker (hamstring), Deshaun Watson (personal)

Storylines/Things to Watch

  • Houston Has Their QB This Time Around: In the Week 6 matchup, Texans starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was injured and unable to play, clearing the way for rookie Davis Mills to have a lackluster game against the Colts. On Sunday, the veteran Taylor will be back under center and has proven to be the far superior signal-caller for Houston's offense in 2021. Will they be able to have more success against the Colts offensively this time around?
  • Will Illness Affect Texans' Preparation?: A bug went through the Texans this week and as a result, they have five players on the final injury report with a designation due to illness. Even those that play through it, how will their absence during the week affect their play on Sunday?
  • Same Recipe as Last Time?: In the last matchup, the Colts threw the ball just 20 times compared to 26 carries, resulting in 174 rushing yards (145 courtesy of Jonathan Taylor). When the Colts know they can run the ball on a defense, they do it, so will they go back to the well with another monster game by Taylor?

Intriguing Matchups

  • Colts LT Eric Fisher vs. Texans ED Jonathan Greenard: Colts left tackle Eric Fisher has been a good run blocker this season (70.7 grade per PFF) but his pass blocking has left a lot to be desired (62.7 grade). Greenard has been a standout for the Texans defense this season and leads both teams with 8.0 sacks. Fisher will have his hands full when Greenard is lined up against him.
  • Colts DL vs. Texans OL: "Patchwork" is one word you could use to describe the Texans' offensive line, which already wasn't a point of strength but is also now banged-up. This is a strong opportunity for the Colts' young defensive line to wreak havoc on a team that doesn't run the ball or protect its quarterback well.
  • Colts CB Isaiah Rodgers vs. Texans WR Brandin Cooks: For the Texans' receiving corps, it's been a story of Cooks and then everybody else. He leads the team in receptions by 34, targets by 55, and receiving yards by 471. Rodgers has been a pleasant addition to the Colts' cornerback rotation this season after playing sparingly as a rookie. Rodgers has the speed and shiftiness to stick with Cooks and has been a playmaker as of late.

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Projected Weather

Referee Assignment

Betting Line

2021 Season Leaders

Colts

  • Passing: QB Carson Wentz (2,790 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Jonathan Taylor (1,205 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Michael Pittman Jr. (805 yards)
  • Touchdowns: RB Jonathan Taylor (16)
  • Tackles: LB Bobby Okereke (101)
  • Sacks: DT DeForest Buckner (5.5)
  • Interceptions: CB Kenny Moore II (3)

Texans

  • Passing: QB Davis Mills (1,357 yards)
  • Rushing: RB David Johnson (176 yards [leader RB Mark Ingram II no longer on team])
  • Receiving: WR Brandin Cooks (704 yards)
  • Touchdowns: QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Brandin Cooks (3)
  • Tackles: LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (68)
  • Sacks: ED Jonathan Greenard (8.0)
  • Interceptions: CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. (3)

Comparing 2021 Team Stats

Colts

  • Total offense:11th (366.3 YPG)
  • Scoring: 4th (28.3 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 22nd (221.8 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-7th (21)
  • Rushing offense: 4th (144.5 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 11th (41.6%)
  • Red zone offense: 20th (56.3%)
  • Total defense: 17th (358.8 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 20th (23.6 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 19th (244.7 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-17th (25)
  • Rushing defense: 18th (114.2 YPG)
  • Third down defense: Tied-17th (40.4%)
  • Red zone defense: 29th (71.1%)
  • Turnover differential: 1st (+12)

Texans

  • Total offense: 32nd (264.8 YPG)
  • Scoring: 32nd (14.9 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 31st (186.5 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-24th (3)
  • Rushing offense: 32nd (78.3 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 18th (38.9%)
  • Red zone offense: 27th (52.0%)
  • Total defense: 29th (378.1 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 28th (26.5 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 15th (242.5 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-17th (25)
  • Rushing defense: 31st (135.6 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 19th (40.5%)
  • Red zone defense: 22nd (62.8%)
  • Turnover differential: 11th (+2)

Notes

  • Taylor needs one touchdown to tie Edgerrin James (17 in 1999) for the third-most total touchdowns in single-season franchise history. Taylor also needs one touchdown to tie James (26) for the most rushing touchdowns by a Colts player in their first two seasons. Taylor would also pass Eric Dickerson (14 in 1988) for the second-most rushing touchdowns in single-season franchise history. It would mark Taylor’s 10th consecutive game with a rushing touchdown, which would tie Terry Allen (1995-96) and Greg Bell (1988-89) for the eighth-longest streak in NFL history. With one rushing touchdown, Taylor will have at least one in 10 consecutive games and join Lenny Moore (11) as the only players in franchise history to accomplish that feat. With one touchdown, Taylor will have at least one touchdown in 10 consecutive games and join Moore (18) and Lydell Mitchell (10) as the only players in franchise history to accomplish that feat. Taylor needs four points to reach 100 on the season, which would make him just the third non-kicker in franchise history to reach the mark in a single season (Moore 120 in 1964; James 110 in 2000 and 102 in 1999).
  • Running back Nyheim Hines needs 43 receiving yards to pass Curtis Dickey (1,499) for the ninth-most receiving yards by a running back in franchise history.
  • Hilton needs one reception to pass Jimmy Orr (92) for the fifth-longest streak of games with at least one reception in franchise history.
  • Linebacker Darius Leonard needs seven tackles to reach 100 for the season, which would make him just the fifth player in franchise history to compile four consecutive 100-tackle seasons.
  • Punter Rigoberto Sanchez needs to finish one game with a 50.0-plus-yard punting average to pass Chris Gardocki and David Lee (nine) for the fourth-most such games in franchise history.
  • Safety George Odum needs one special teams tackle to pass Cory Bird (43) for the seventh-most in franchise history.
  • The Colts made the following transactions this week: Activated safety Khari Willis from Injured Reserve. Waived safety Josh Jones. Placed center Ryan Kelly on Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Catch Before The Game

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