The 6-6 Indianapolis Colts are looking to bounce back against the 2-9 Houston Texans after falling to Tampa Bay 38-31 in Week 12.
I’d expect a heavy dosage of running back Jonathan Taylor early and often against the Texans’ 31st-ranked run defense, especially given Taylor’s success against Houston back in Week 6 (14 carries, 145 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, avg. of 10.4 yards per carry).
One factor to keep in mind on Indy’s side is the absence of Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly, who was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday. Second-year center Danny Pinter will start in Kelly’s place.
Even without Kelly, however, the Colts’ offensive line should still have the upper hand as the rest of the teams’ starters will be going up against one of the worst-ranked pass-rush defenses in the entire NFL.
Houston, meanwhile, is coming off an embarrassing 21-14 loss to the New York Jets in Week 12 and will be looking to spoil Indy’s plans at getting to 7-6.
Additionally, the Texans will be without multiple key starters, including running back David Johnson, linebacker Zach Cunningham, tight end Jordan Akins, and a few others as well.
The Colts handled business against Houston 31-3 back in Week 6. Sunday needs to be no different. In order to keep their playoff chances alive, defeating an inferior opponent, in the Texans, is a must.