On paper, you would think that the game on Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium with the Houston Texans (2-11) would be an easy win for the Indianapolis Colts (8-5). The Texans are on an 11-game losing streak and in disarray as they’ve fired their head coach after last week’s loss. They’re trying to just get through the season, and have also never won in Indianapolis.
The Colts are officially the AFC South division winners and finally found some offensive momentum last week on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, who had the eighth-ranked defense.
However, the Colts have been known to get off to slow starts. It all started in the November 3 game in Reliant Stadium with this same Texans team where they fell behind 24-3 at the half. They looked like a totally different team and have never looked the same. The Colts haven’t scored a first-half touchdown since October 20. That’s nearly two months ago. One thing I do know is that Houston will put up a fight and won’t go away.
Even though Houston has lost 11 in a row, they have been beaten only by an average of four points. The combined margin they lost by since October 20th is 29. Unlike the Colts, Houston has been getting off to good starts and melting down in the second half. That means Indianapolis must turn that around this week. With how the first half of the Texans game spun the Colts’ offense out of control, the first half on Sunday could put them back on its axis.
If Indianapolis can get off to a good start, and there’s no reason in my mind they couldn’t, they should cruise to their ninth victory of the season. With the Bengals and New England Patriots playing tough road games on Sunday, the Colts could move back into a tie for second-place in the AFC by winning and those two losing.
This game is critical for Indianapolis and if they start off fast and strong, they could be back to where they were before the bye week.
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