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2017 Opponent Scouting Report: Week 9, Texans Special Teams, Predictions and the 2018 Draft Watch

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

On November 5, 2017 the Indianapolis Colts will take a little down trip to Houston. In this Week 9 match-up, I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea for what we’re up against.

The Texans finished 2016 with 9 wins, 7 losses and an AFC South division title. Two of those wins came against our Colts to a Texans team that started Brock Osweiler, which is a good indication of Chuck Pagano’s ability to coach.

Let’s figure out what we can expect in week nine.


Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn No One On The Team Knows His First Name

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

So far, Ka’imi has been great kicking field goals and has gone 11 for 11, knocking in a 50 yarder to boot. - See what I did there?

He has missed two extra points, but all-in-all, Fairbairn has played well and outside of some insane fluke he won’t have a massive impact in this game, even if he misses every single extra point he lines up for. It’s just not going to matter in this one.


Punter: Shane Lechler Is Still Booming Footballs

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Lechler is 41 years old and he’s averaging more than 50 yards a punt. That’s insane. He’s old, he shouldn’t be punting the ball that far, but here we are. Lechler is second in the league in both yards and net yards per punt.

More than his ability to punt, I wish I could hang out with the guy and just listen to the stories he could tell about being in Oakland with Sebastian Janikowski. According to... well everyone, he and Sea-Bass had a good time and the stories he could tell would be worth far more than anything he can do while punting a football.

As a matter of fact, he may not even end up punting on Sunday.


Returner: WIll Fuller, Probably

The Texans are 17th in yards per kickoff return and 4th in yards per punt return. That gif shows Will Fuller basically running forward for 19-20 yards on a return. He might break off a long one, or they might use someone else.

It wont matter a bit. This isn’t a game that field position is going to determine.


Final Thoughts for The Week

The Texans are better than the Colts.

This season isn’t a whole lot of fun.

Watson will have a chance to run this one up and I think the Colts will score some points late in the game to make it look only slightly better than it really is.

EDIT: Starting Texans QB Deshaun Watson has torn his ACL and is out for the season. With it being this late in the week the Texans coaches will have to scramble to reestablish a gameplan given what Tom Savage can do.

They’ve developed their current offense around Watson’s game and their playbook has now been cut in half. I don’t know what this does to the outcome of this game but I believe the Colts may have a chance. I’m leaving my prediction below, as I’m not sure Indy wins this one and I’m not sure how this impacts the score.

Just know this game just got competitive, in an unfortunate way.


Prediction

Colts 30

Texans 56


2018 Draft Watch

This segment will keep an eye on our draft positioning as the year progresses. No, I’m not suggesting that we throw the season or that we should all look forward to the draft. Rather I hope that this will allow us all to be aware of next off-season and realize how much our 2018 outlook can change from week to week.

I would like to point out a really cool site that covers the NBA, NHL and NFL: Tankathon. It has a funny name but it serves a cool purpose, weeding out tie breakers to show who is slated to draft where.

2018 Colts Draft Position Post Week Three:

4th Overall

“What’s that? Ah — Playoffs? Don’t talk about — playoffs?You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game! Another game.” -Jim Mora

That link goes to a website you never knew you needed. The URL is literally jimmoraplayoffs.com Clicking either of these links is absolutely required as maybe we can all get a chuckle out of this horrible, no good season.

At this point in the season we are all but eliminated from playoff contention. Please, no one suggest we should tank games, we all know you play to win the game. While we’re all upset about this season, looking back on the comments made by Chris Ballard and Jim Irsay, it’s obvious we are who they thought we were.

Okay seriously this is what you need to know about our draft position this week:

We are unlikely to win any of our next five games. The Giants, who are currently slated to draft 3rd, one spot ahead of us will likely lose their next match up against a good Rams team, but the following week they play the winless 49ers. If they win that game, it’s not clear who takes the third draft slot but we are at least in the conversation. Finally, the Buccaneers, who are a game behind us in the 5th draft slot, will likely lose to the Saints this week but have winnable games against the Jets, Dolphins and Packers coming down the pipe. I expect them to win one of those and pull a little further away from Indy in earning a top 4 pick.

Another thing to note is that while we need the 49ers to lose to the Giants in a couple weeks, it’s reasonable to believe that the Jimmy Garoppolo trade will lead them to a few late season wins. It isn’t impossible that the Indianapolis Colts end up with the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 draft.

That’s a bad thing.

It could be worse, right? At least we aren’t the Browns.