The 9-4 Colts are back in Indianapolis this week to take on the 4-9 Houston Texans. The Texans have been struggling all year long, but so many of their games have come down to the end, including the Colts’ 26-20 win over Houston just two weeks ago.
It should be a fun game to watch. Let’s see which players for the Colts will be keys to winning this game.
Jonathan Taylor (RB)
It’s another one of those situations where I would love to pick T.Y. Hilton, but I just think Jonathan Taylor will be a more impactful player overall.
Taylor has been hot lately and as long as the Colts offensive line stays healthy, there is no reason to assume he will be cooling down any time soon.
Last week against the Raiders, Taylor had the best game of his young career putting up 150 yards on 20 carries and scoring two touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was a 62-yard rush where Taylor was given a huge hole by his offensive line and then used his impressive speed to break past the Raiders’ secondary. Colts fans would love to see more of that.
Fortunately, the Colts played the Texans just two weeks ago, so the team has not changed much since Indy last saw them.
In that Texans game, Taylor had 13 carries and ran for 91 yards. An average of 7 yards per rush. More of this kind of performance and the Colts should be just fine on Sunday.
Getting the run game going early will help set the tone for the Colts. If Jonathan Taylor can get going, it will make it much easier on Frank Reich to manage the clock and keep the ball out of Deshaun Watson’s hand as much as possible.
Kenny Moore (CB)
The Colts defense has been impressive all year long, and many times have been the reason for an Indy victory. However, recently the secondary has been giving up some big passing numbers and it slightly worries me.
Last week, Derek Carr threw for 316 passing yards and the team totaled 345 yards. In Houston, the Colts gave up 341 passing yards to Watson. Against the Packers, Aaron Rodgers threw for 311 yards. That is three of the last four games in which a quarterback had over 300 yards passing.
Last time out against Houston, the defensive line was led by Justin Houston and had no problem getting to the quarterback. The Colts recorded five sacks in that game, three for Houston and two for DeForest Buckner. They also had 6.5 tackles for loss and eight QB hits.
As long as Buckner plays this week, I would expect more of the same from the defensive line on Sunday.
The secondary has been slightly struggling, so for my key player I wanted to pick the hot hand. Kenny Moore is the reigning defensive player of the week for the AFC. Last week against the Raiders, Moore had 5 tackles, an incredible interception, and forced a fumble. His contribution really put the game away and gave the Colts every opportunity to win.
Last time out against the Texans, Moore had eight tackles, three passes defended, and another interception on Watson.
He has been a defensive standout for a couple of weeks now, and if the Colts want to win, they will need him to make a few big plays. Don’t let the Texans’ record fool you, they have played a ton of close games. They have the capability, as we saw two weeks ago, to contend with this Colts team.