Indianapolis, IN- The Indianapolis Colts play their third consecutive primetime game Sunday night when they travel to Reliant Stadium and take on the Houston Texans. Injuries will be a big story surrounding this game on who and who doesn’t play on the Texans side of the ball while the Colts should be full strength minus Reggie Wayne.
If injuries limit the Texans’ backfield then the Colts’ secondary would have to be salivating. The top two runners on the Texans, Arian Foster and Ben Tate, are both injured and are likely going to be game-time decisions. Foster, has 542 yards on 121 carries this year but suffered a hamstring pull against the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the bye week. His backup Tate (66 carries, 318 yards, one touchdown) also suffered an injury in that game breaking four ribs. That duo is going to try and play but how effective they are is the question.
That leaves it up to the unstable quarterback play for Houston Sunday night. Matt Schaub has started all but the Chiefs game as he was out with an injury of his own, but in the games he’s play he’s struggled. He’s thrown nine interceptions already with giving up a lot of pick-sixes and has also been sacked 15 times. When he went out with an injury T.J. Yates came in for the second half and didn’t do much better. He threw for only 113 yards with zero touchdowns. He was sacked twice and threw two interceptions of his own with one resulting in a pick-six.
That left Houston to put in Case Keenum against the Chiefs. Keenum threw for 271 yards and a touchdowns but was sacked five times. That puts that offense in a tough spot which is a huge gain for the Indianapolis secondary.
The Colts are known to bring tons of pressure and have done a great job playing tight man coverage. When they do bring the heat and crowd the line of scrimmage they have success. Robert Mathis has 11.5 of Indianapolis’ 16 sacks. That pressure will force whoever is behind center for Houston to try and get the ball out quickly.
That’s led to tons of mistakes as their quarterbacks have 11 combined interceptions this year.
Mix that with the Colts’ ability to pick off passes and we have a big game slated for the corners and safeties of Indianapolis. The Colts have picked off eight passes this year and have a +11 turnover ratio. The Texans are -11.
That stat says it all. Expect some good plays out of the Indianapolis secondary if they can get pressure on the quarterback.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru