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Colts vs. Texans, Week 6 Preview: Bounce-Back Needed in Big Way

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday's matchup between the Colts and Texans. (Video via Indianapolis Colts YouTube)

The Indianapolis Colts finally return home in Week 6 after three weeks on the road to welcome the Houston Texans to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Colts (1-4) fans hope it's a hostile welcome for the visitors from Houston (1-4), as both the team and its fan base are reeling following an epic collapse against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football last week.

This is the Colts' second AFC South showdown of the young season after dropping their matchup with the Tennessee Titans in Week 3, so Sunday's game is of the utmost importance despite it being against a floundering opponent.

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

Broadcast Information

  • Date/Time: Sunday, Oct. 17, at 1:00pm ET
  • Where: Indianapolis, Ind.; Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Television: CBS — Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Jay Feely (color)
  • 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)
  • On-Demand: NFL Game Pass (after the fact)

All-Time Series

  • Colts lead, 29-9 (1-0 in the postseason). The Colts have won five of the last six matchups dating back to 2018.
  • Last game: Week 15 of 2020; Colts won, 27-20.

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 Frank Ross

Injury Report


  • QUESTIONABLE — CB Xavier Rhodes (concussion)

  • OUT — K Rodrigo Blankenship (right hip), S Andrew Sendejo (concussion), OT Braden Smith (foot/thumb), DE Kemoko Turay (groin), RB Jordan Wilkins (non-football illness)


  • QUESTIONABLE — OL Justin Britt (knee), DB Desmond King II (hip/illness), WR Danny Amendola (thigh), RB Rex Burkhead (hip/knee)

  • OUT — OL Laremy Tunsil (thumb), QB Deshaun Watson (personal)

Storylines/Things to Watch

  • Take Care of Business, "Finish Him!": The Colts embarrassingly squandered a 19-point second-half lead on national TV to lose to the Ravens last week. It was the type of win that could've turned their season around and put them at 2-3, but now they sit 1-4 with huge question marks about the rest of their season. They need to take advantage of a weak opponent at home on Sunday, and don't take their foot off the gas when they're ahead. Like Shang Tsung says in Mortal Kombat, "Finish Him!"
  • Return of the Ghost: Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (neck) was activated off of Injured Reserve this weekend, setting the stage for him to make his season debut on Sunday against the team he's historically dominated in the Texans. It's doubtful he sees a full workload since he's essentially only practiced once this season, but the Colts get another weapon in the stable for quarterback Carson Wentz.
  • Any Improvements on Pass Rush?: The Colts' pass rush has gone totally cold at very inopportune times this season, or for what seems like whole halves or games at a time. We knew there'd be some growing pains on the outside in losing veterans Justin Houston and Denico Autry this offseason, but the young studs who stood out in training camp and the preseason have been far from consistent during the regular season. The inside isn't doing much better either which is frustrating given the presence of All-Pro DeForest Buckner. The Colts' defense desperately needs the pass rush to take it up a notch.
  • No Deshaun Watson, No Problem?: The Colts have owned the Texans throughout their history, winning 74% of the matchups, and over the last several seasons it seems like Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is the only thing that's given Houston a fighting chance against the Colts. However, Watson is on the shelf dealing with off-field matters and a sort-of holdout, so the Colts will face rookie quarterback Davis Mills instead.

Intriguing Matchups

  • Colts RT Matt Pryor vs. Texans ED Jordan Jenkins: This is a matchup of two totally under-the-radar players who are coming off of good games in Week 5. Jenkins is decent at setting the edge defensively, and the Colts will likely look to get the run game going with Jonathan Taylor, so Pryor has a good matchup ahead of him.
  • Colts DE Kwity Paye vs. Texans LT Geron Christian: The Cikts' first-round pick is back, and with Kemoko Turay sidelined with a groin injury this week, the Colts need Paye to have a good game. He's getting a break by not having to face one of the league's best left tackles in Laremy Tunsil, who is out with a thumb injury. Paye's pass rush hasn't caught up with his run defense yet. Hopefully, that starts to tip on Sunday.
  • Colts CB Kenny Moore II vs. Texans WR Brandin Cooks: This hasn't been a banner year for Moore yet, and he's facing one of the league's most consistently productive and underappreciated receivers in Cooks. Honestly, Cooks and Moore are each other's counterparts; two players who perform at a high level inside and outside and are never talked about enough in the context of NFL discussions.

Read More

Projected Weather

Referee Assignment

Betting Line

2021 Season Leaders


  • Passing: QB Carson Wentz (1,322 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Jonathan Taylor (327 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Michael Pittman Jr. (368 yards)
  • Touchdowns: WR Zach Pascal, RB Jonathan Taylor (3)
  • Tackles: LB Darius Leonard (38)
  • Sacks: DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE Kemoko Turay (2.0)
  • Interceptions: LB Darius Leonard, CB Kenny Moore II, S Khari Willis (1)


  • Passing: QB Davis Mills (669 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Mark Ingram II (212 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Brandin Cooks (392 yards)
  • Touchdowns: RB Phillip Lindsay (2)
  • Tackles: LB Christian Kirksey (39)
  • Sacks: ED Whitney Mercilus (3.0)
  • Interceptions: CB Lonnie Johnson Jr., S Justin Reid (2)

Comparing 2021 Team Stats


  • Total offense: 15th (363.4 YPG)
  • Scoring: 21st (21.6 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 14th (249.2 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-18th (12)
  • Rushing offense: 13th (114.2 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 17th (39.3%)
  • Red zone offense: 32nd (36.8%)
  • Total defense: 18th (369.2 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 23rd (25.6 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 20th (260.8 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-18th (10)
  • Rushing defense: 14th (108.4 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 14th (38.8%)
  • Red zone defense: 23rd (68.4%)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-5th (+4)


  • Total offense: 29th (282.6 YPG)
  • Scoring: 29th (17.8 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 28th (202.8 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-18th (12)
  • Rushing offense: 28th (79.8 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 12th (41.8%)
  • Red zone offense: 11th (66.7%)
  • Total defense: 26th (391.8 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: 27th (28.2 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 18th (257.0 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-28th (8)
  • Rushing defense: 26th (134.8 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 19th (42.6%)
  • Red zone defense: 10th (52.4%)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-15th (0)


  • Taylor needs eight yards from scrimmage to reach 2,000 for his career, making him just the sixth player in franchise history to reach the mark in their first two seasons. Taylor needs four rushing yards to reach 1,500 career rushing yards, making him just the sixth player in franchise history to reach the mark in their first two seasons. Taylor needs one 100-yard rushing game to pass Frank Gore (four) and tie Dominic Rhodes (five) for the 11th-most in franchise history.
  • Colts running back Nyheim Hines needs five receptions to pass Pierre Garcon (188) for the seventh-most receptions by a Colts player in their first four seasons.
  • Colts linebacker Darius Leonard needs one game with 10-plus tackles to pass Gary Brackett (23) for the most in franchise history.
  • Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez needs one game with a 50.0-plus punting average to pass Chris Gardocki and David Lee (nine) for the fourth-most such games in franchise history.
  • Colts special teamer George Odum needs one special teams tackle to pass Jason Doering, Ray McElroy, and Philip Wheeler (39) and tie Rob Morris and Justin Snow (40) for the eighth-most in franchise history. Odum needs two special teams tackles to pass Rob Morris and Snow (40) for the eighth-most.
  • The Colts made the following roster moves this week: Activated Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton from Injured Reserve. Elevated kicker Michael Badgley and safety Jordan Lucas to active roster from practice squad. Placed kicker Rodrigo Blankenship on IR. Signed guard Zack Bailey, offensive tackle Greg Senat, and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods to practice squad. Released OT Anthony Coyle and center Joey Hunt from practice squad. Placed safety Ibraheim Campbell on IR-injured list.

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