After a crucial bye week the Texans stand at 2-5 and one more loss would kill the Texans chances of a playoff berth. Both teams have suffered big injuries to key players and both teams are coming off a bye week and have had plenty of time to prepare for tonight’s primetime game. Here is my preview and predictions for today’s game.
7:30 PM CT, November 3rd, 2013
Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
Case Keenum is set to make his home debut in the national spotlight. Houstonians have seen Keenum gash up opposing defenses back in his Cougars days but tonight he makes his Reliant Stadium debut in a Houston Texans jersey. Keenum played a near-perfect game against one of the league’s best defensive unit at Arrowhead Stadium. This time Keenum has the Houston faithful on his side and the stadium should be rocking in his home debut in the bright lights.
The Texans offensive line should be healthy for tonight’s game. All players practiced and it will be Derek Newton and Duane Brown with the responsibility of trying to keep Robert Mathis away from Keenum. The Texans running back situation is a bit iffy for tonight with Arian Foster a game-time decision though Ben Tate is likely to play. Tate is playing with several cracked ribs so it’s likely the Texans decide to keep another two running backs active. Deji Karim, Ray Graham, and Dennis Johnson are all on the 53-man roster and I expect Karim and Johnson to be dressed tonight regardless of Foster’s fate.
After a 271-yard performance by Keenum in week 7, expect the Texans to continue give Keenum’s different looks against a Colts defense allowing 228 passing yards a game. The Colts will be without Greg Toler so it’ll likely be either Darius Butler or Cassius Vaughn matched up on DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins and Keenum connected for a TD against the Chiefs and expect a lot of looks towards Hopkins in his matchup with the Colts backup cornerbacks.
The Colts traded a 1st round pick to the Cleveland Browns for RB Trent Richardson and Richardson has disappointed up to date. Richardson has racked up just 228 yards on the ground this season and averages just 3-yards a carry. Donald Brown is Richardson’s backup and he has had much more success with 5.9-yards per carry.The Texans allow just 122-yards rushing per game and should be able to stop Richardson and Brown.
Andrew Luck has averaged just 224.9 passing yards per game and that may go down in tonight’s matchup with the Texans. Both Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson have had great seasons and the secondary has allowed just 146 passing yards a game. With Reggie Wayne out for the year, it will be Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton starting at wide receiver. Coby Fleener should also see an uptick in targets with Wayne gone and the Colts will likely take a few deep shots on the Texans with their elite speed at wide receiver . The Texans offensive line will need to force as much pressure as possible to take the deep ball away from Luck. Luck is also a capable scrambler on 3rd downs though the Texans have done a great job with athletic quarterbacks this season.
Score: Texans – 24 Colts – 27
- Keenum hooks up with Hopkins and Graham for his two TD’s.
- Tate takes most of the carries and scores a TD.
- Texans defense records three sacks on Andrew Luck
- Kareem Jackson picks off Andrew Luck
- Bullock’s FG is from 39-yards out
Could the Texans win? No doubt, but it’s going to need to be their best performance of the season if they want to defeat their division rivals.