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2019 Opponent Scouting Report: Texans Special Teams, Final Thoughts and Predictions

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NFL: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

On October 20, 2019, the Indianapolis Colts will host the Houston Texans. In this Week 7 match-up, I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our Colts.

These two teams have faced off a total of 35 times since the Texans came into the league in 2002. In that time our Colts have compiled a 27-8 record over the Texans and, if you do better with percentages, the Colts have won more than 77% of all games played against Houston. The last time these two teams faced off, the Colts turned in a dominant playoff performance on the ground finishing with a final score of 21 to 7, though the game never felt like it was that close. Hopefully, the Colts still have it in them to bully this Texans team like they did earlier this year.

Let’s figure out what we can expect in week 7.


Special Teams


Kicker:

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Ka’imi Fairbairn has had a rough start to his 2019 season. So far he’s missed 3 of his 9 attempted field goals and is 16 for 20 on extra points. Fortunately for him, the Colts are going to continue trying to give Adam Vinatieri a welcoming kicking environment at Lucas Oil Stadium and (outside of the crowd noise) Fairbairn will benefit from those favorable conditions as well.

For the first time this season if the game comes down to a field goal I’m glad Vini is on our side.


Punter:

NFL: Preseason-Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Anger was signed before the Texans week three game this season. Since his signing, he’s punted ten balls for a 47.2 yard average and a long of 71 yards. Field position could play a big role in this game and so far this season, Anger has done well to win that battle for the Texans.


Returner:

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Carter has bounced around the league, playing on three teams in three years and is currently on his second chance as a Texan. For now, though, Carter has carved out a role returning kicks and punts. On the season he’s averaging 9.9 yards per punt return but just 18 yards per kick return. He has never returned one for a touchdown and his longest return came by way of a 42 yarder in 2018 as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sometimes guys like Carter will surprise you but based on what he’s done so far in his career, I wouldn’t lose sleep this week worrying about how to keep Carter contained.


Final Thoughts for The Week:

This Texans team is good. Deshaun Watson is a good young quarterback. They have a lot of weapons on offense and they have managed to turn years of effort, countless 1st round picks and boatloads of Bob McNair’s money (it’s still his money, relax) into a competent offensive line.

From the outside looking in, it’s felt like their defense has been what has kept a sub-par offense afloat for a long time and it’s looking like the scales are starting to shift. The Texans have a few good, young players on defense but by and large many of their best players are either injured or on the wrong side of their peak (or both).

I have little doubt that the Texans will be able to move the ball on Sunday. It’s possible the Colts have a day similar to the one they had in Kansas City, but until we see them put together another performance like that, I’m not sure I feel comfortable predicting anything like that right now.

In the end, I trust Frank Reich to get the job done more than I believe in Bill O’Brien’s ability to lead his team to victory. I think both teams will be able to score points and this will be yet another game where the team with the ball last is likely to win.


Predictions

  • Jacoby Brissett sets a new career high for yards in a game.
  • The Colts will finish with 150+ rushing yards.
  • Darius Leonard finishes with 10+ tackles.
  • Final Score:

Colts 31

Texans 28