Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 – Texans v.s. Colts: What To Watch For?

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The Texans went winless in all of October and have yet to win since Week 2. The Texans now face their division foes in a virtual must-win already in Week 9. A Texans win against the Colts can bring the Texans within two games of the division-leading Colts. Let’s take a look at what to watch for in today’s Texans – Colts game.

 

  • Mathis/Watt - It’s a matchup between the best defensive player last year and one of the best defensive players this year. Robert Mathis has already racked up 11.5 sacks and is a force to be reckoned with from the outside linebacker position. He will go up against both Duane Brown and Derek Newton today as the Colts look to give the Texans offensive line many different looks. J.J. Watt has had a subpar year in terms of his numbers but has still made his mark in many games. Watt had three sacks the last time he faced Andrew Luck in Houston and will be counted on for a big performance in this SNF primetime game.
  • Texans Running Backs – The Texans currently have five running backs on the roster but don’t expect all five to suit up tonight. Ben Tate is expected to play though Arian Foster is a game-time decision. Deji Karim, Ray Graham, and Dennis Johnson all have experience in the Texans system, though I expect to see Graham inactive on game day. The Texans suffered heavily against the Chiefs when both running backs went down with injuries. Deji Karim is likely to be the third running back and may get some be on return duty as well.
  • Colts WR’s – This will be the Colts first game without Reggie Wayne and it’ll be interesting to see how they replace his performance. T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey are certain to see more targets, and it’ll be Heyward-Bey acting as the #1 WR in place of Wayne. It’s possible a guy like LaVon Brazill also sees targets in a likely matchup with Brice McCain.
  • Middle Linebacker – When Brian Cushing has been off the field the last two seasons, the team defense has suffered immensely. This season the Texans hope his void can be somewhat-filled with Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton. Both Mays and Sharpton will be relied upon to be both vocal and physical on the field in hopes of replacing Cushing.

 

Will the Texans drop their sixth straight game or will they bridge the gap in the division to just two games? Sound off in the comments below!

 

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