Playing on a short week is difficult. There are several players who don't like it, and that includes Texans running back Arian Foster, who ripped the league this week for their Thursday night games.
"Thursday Night Football is pretty annoying for players," Foster said earlier this week. "I don't know one player that likes it. I really don't know a fan that likes it, either. I think it's just the league's way to try to generate more revenue, but that's what they are here for."
"(The NFL) emphasize(s) concussions when they start getting hit with lawsuits and then they care about the player safety but Thursday Night Football is putting every player on the football field in danger," Foster continued. "Nobody is ready to play physically after a Sunday game but you have to go out there and do it."
While I'm not here to argue whether Thursday games are best for the league or it's players, the Colts have certainly been very good on Thursdays historically. Incredibly good, in fact, when considering that it's on a short week.
Since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, the Colts are 11-1 in Thursday games and have currently won their last nine games played on the short week.
|Indianapolis Colts in Thursday Regular Season Games since 1984|
|2004||NE||Away||L 24-27||Season Opener|
|DET||Away||W 41-9||Thanksgiving Day|
|2007||NO||Home||W 41-10||Season Opener|
|ATL||Away||W 31-13||Thanksgiving Day|
The Colts are 11-1 overall with a nine-game win streak, and since Thursday Night Football became a regular thing in 2008, the Colts are 6-0. This Thursday will make seven of the last eight games the Colts have played on a short week that are on the road (I don't know about you, but I don't think that's really fair). In the 12 Thursday games since moving to Indy, the Colts are averaging 34.6 points per game and allowing 21.2 points per game.
Reggie Wayne has played in 10 Thursday games, and he has caught 53 passes for 871 yards and 6 touchdowns in those games, averaging 5.3 catches, 87.1 yards, and 0.75 touchdowns per game. He has topped 100 yards in five of those games (and five of the last seven he's played in) and scored a touchdown in five of them as well (including, as you guessed, five of the last seven).
In his two Thursday night games, Andrew Luck has completed 41 of 62 passes (66.1%) for 459 yards (229.5 yards per game), 0 touchdowns and a pick, while adding 16 carries for 42 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground.
The Colts typically play a division opponent on Thursday Night Football, but the only time the Colts have played the Texans on the short week was in 2011 in the only home Thursday night game since the 2007 season opener (when the Colts were defending world champions). The Colts entered that game 1-13, while the Texans entered at 10-4 and in first place in the AFC South. It was the final home game of the season for the Colts and everyone knew that the upcoming offseason would include plenty of change. With 1:56 left in the game, the Texans hit a field goal to extend their lead to 16-12. Dan Orlovsky led the Colts downfield and with 19 seconds left Orlovsky hit Reggie Wayne for a one yard, game-winning touchdown in a game that many expected to be his final as a Colt at home.
Thankfully, it wasn't, and Reggie returned that offseason as the Colts brought in Andrew Luck and many other new faces.
This Thursday night, the Colts go on the road to play the Texans. It's a short week, but the Colts have historically done well on them. That doesn't make it any less of a test, but rather goes to show that the Colts have been up to the test before and there's no reason to expect otherwise this week.