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2017 Opponent Scouting Report: Week 17, Texans Special Teams, A Prediction and Draft Watch

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NFL: Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

On December 31, 2017 the Indianapolis Colts will host the Houston Texans. In this Week 17 match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea for what we’re up against.

I’m happy to announce that this will be Chuck Pagano’s last 60 minutes coaching the Indianapolis Colts. This will be the end and no matter what happens on special teams today, let’s just celebrate what looks to be the most interesting off season in quite some time.

Go Colts.


Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn

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

Ka’imi is 18 for 23 on field goals this season and has booted a 55 yarder. He’s missed three extra points this season too.

This is a game that could come down to both teams field goal kickers and I feel I can say with great confidence that Adam Vinatieri and the Colts have this battle in the bag.


Punter: Shane Lechler

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

Lechler is 41 years old and he’s averaging almost 49 yards per punt. That’s insane. He’s old, he shouldn’t be punting the ball that far, but here we are.

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.

Who’s better Lechler or Rigoberto Sanchez? Probably Lechler but Sanchez has plenty of room to grow at only 23 years old.


Returner: Chris Thompson

Houston Texans v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Chris Thompson is adequate as a kick returner. He’s averaging 21.3 yards per return on the year. He leads the Texans with 16 kicks returned. I think it’s reasonable to expect him to return everything he touches this week in an effort to break one long in a meaningless game.

He hasn’t been able to do it yet but he did scamper for 42 yards earlier in the year. It should be interesting to see how both teams handle returns in this one.


Final Thoughts for The Week

Unless there’s something crazy going on behind the scenes that none of us know anything about, this will be Chuck Pagano’s last game as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

As a man with a family, I would earnestly like to thank Chuck for the time he spent here and for the good times the first three years of his stint in Indy provided. I hope he get’s to walk each of his daughters down the aisle like he talked about in the storybook year that was 2012. I hope for nothing but good things for him for the rest of his life.

As a Colts fan I would earnestly like to say Black Monday is coming:


Prediction

Colts 20

Texans 16


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 Sixteen:

3rd Overall

So I’ve done some homework and if Wikipedia is to be believed, our first round pick can get no worse than 3rd overall, but it can improve to 2nd overall with a Colts loss and a Giants win.

If we win our game and both the Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose as well then our 2nd through 7th round picks will be impacted. In this scenario all three teams will have identical records and will have to rotate order in each round.

For example:

Round One:

3. Colts

4. Browns (Via Texans)

5. Buccaneers

Round Two:

35. Texans

36. Buccaneers

37. Colts

Round Three:

67. Buccaneers

68. Colts

69. Texans

Round Four:

99. Colts

100. Texans

101. Buccaneers

You get the idea.

If either the Bucs or the Texans win their games then they obviously aren’t involved with our pick swapping. If the Giants win and the Colts lose, we will swap picks with the Giants throughout the draft like I demonstrated above. I’ll just give you a quick overview of the games that will impact draft position:

Vegas has this game going to the Saints by more than a TD. Vegas is usually really good at picking games as they aren’t big on losing money so it looks like the Bucs will fall in this one. Not to mention the fact that if the Saints win they win the NFC South and avoid traveling in the opening round of the playoffs. If they lose they have to rely on the Falcons beating the Panthers and if the super bowl has shown us anything it’s that you can’t count on the Falcons for anything.

Vegas has this game going to the ‘skins by more than a field goal and while that’s hardly the same vote of confidence, I concur with Vegas. The Giants will be without rookie TE Evan Engram and for a team currently employing former ball boys as receivers that’s a big loss. Further there has been some (stupid) talk of the ‘skins possibly letting head coach Jay Gruden go. If the players in that locker room want to keep their coach at all, they’re going to treat this like a playoff game.

  • Colts vs. Texans

Read above.

Enjoy the joys of Black Monday, the ensuing coaching search and I think we will all enjoy rooting against the Patriots in the playoffs. That’s 16 weeks of opponent scouting reports in the books. I can’t wait to do it again next year. Enjoy the off season, kids.