The Colts will play their second of two games against the Houston Texans on the season this coming Sunday, with this contest taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. CBS will have the game at 1:00 eastern time, with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots doing the game. Bob Lamey and Jim Sorgi will have the game locally on the radio on WFNI and WHLK. Here is everything you need to know to get ready for this weekend's game:
What Happened Last Week?
The Colts officially won the AFC South - in a loss. Thanks to the Titans losing, the Colts won the division, but they dropped to 8-5 on the season after losing to the Bengals in Cincinnati, 42-28. Andrew Luck and the offense had several positives, but the defense was awful.
The Texans lost (again), falling to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football, 27-20 - their 11th loss in a row. The day after the game, the Texans fired coach Gary Kubiak and appointed defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as the interim head coach.
What Happened the First Time?
The first time the Colts played the Texans was in Houston and it was the game where both teams were coming off of their bye week. For the Colts, it was their first game without wide receiver Reggie Wayne. It was a terrible first half, and the Colts went into halftime down 21-3. Then, however, in the last 15:05 of the game, Andrew Luck hit T.Y. Hilton for 3 touchdowns and the Colts came back to stun the Texans and win 27-24. Hilton caught 7 passes for 121 yards and 3 touchdowns, sparking the Colts to the win. At halftime of that game, Gary Kubiak - then the Texans head coach - collapsed as he was leaving the field and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with having suffered a medial condition similar to a stroke.
Pagano on the Game vs. the Texans:
Here is what Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had to say on Wednesday about the game against the Texans:
"It's a division game, division rival, roster that's loaded with great talent. Wade's (Phillips) been in this position before. We expect, throw the records out. They got a good football team. You look at their last six ballgames that they've played, they've lost those six ballgames by a combined point total of 28 points. And so we're preparing as if it's whoever. They're coming here to win a football game. They've got a ton of great football players. We all know that and so we'll prepare accordingly."
New Ring of Honor Members:
The Colts will add former running backs Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk to their ring of honor on Sunday. I wrote about the two new inductees back when they were announced in October. They will join the 12th man, Jim Harbaugh, Chris Hinton, Ted Marchibroda, Bill Brooks, Robert Irsay, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, and Tony Dungy as members of the team's ring of honor.
New Offensive Line Combination:
The Colts will go with yet another offensive line combination, their sixth this year and their third in three weeks, per Mike Chappell. Due to injuries to center Samson Satele and guard Jeff Linkenbach, Mike McGlynn will start at center while Hugh Thornton will be at left guard and Joe Reitz will be at right guard. Another week, another offensive line combination for the Colts.
Stanley Havili, FB (knee)
Jeff Linkenbach, OL (quad)
Ricky Jean Francois, DL (foot)
Samson Satele, OL (elbow)
Greg Toler, CB (groin)
LaVon Brazill, WR (foot)
Aubrayo Franklin, DL (rest)
Robert Mathis, OLB (rest)
Hugh Thornton, OL (neck)
For more on the injury situations, read my notes from yesterday's press conference with Chuck Pagano.
The Colts are 4-0 against the AFC South so far, and in order to move to 5-0 they will need to show up against a talented Texans team that has been terrible this year but who always play the Colts tough. The Colts will really need to focus in on Andre Johnson, who torched the Colts last time, and they will need another big performance from Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton. While I think the Colts will win, this does remind me of the 2011 Colts vs. Texans game in Lucas Oil Stadium, when the Texans were the division champions and the Colts got the first overall pick. On that night, however, the Colts beat the Texans. I could see the same thing happening this time, only with the roles reversed. The Colts need to step up in order for that to not happen again and they need to follow a similar strategy to the one they used last year against the Texans at Lucas Oil in Chuck Pagano's return game - get out to a fast start and get the lead and then play ball control offense to keep it. I don't know if this Colts team is capable of that, but either way they need to start faster and be on their game, because despite their 2-11 record, the Texans can beat the Colts this weekend. But that's not what I'm picking to happen. I'm taking the Colts. Colts 28, Texans 24