Week 18 is here, and the Indianapolis Colts, who currently hold a record of 4-11-1 will be at home to finish off their 2022 season against the 2-13-1 Houston Texans. Since neither team will be making the playoffs this season, Sunday’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium will simply determine where both Indianapolis and Houston will be picking in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Here are my bold predictions ahead of the Colts’ season finale against the Texans.
- The Colts will capture their first victory in weeks to close out the 2022 season
The 2022 season has been one to forget for the Indianapolis Colts, who currently have just four total wins heading into their season finale against the Houston Texans. Indianapolis has lost six straight games and will be looking to close out the season with a victory over Houston Sunday.
With quarterback Nick Foles dealing with a rib injury, Sam Ehlinger will make his third start of the season against Houston. Despite Indianapolis’ recent struggles offensively, Ehlinger, who’s played well at times when at the helm this season, may be able to take advantage of the Texans’ defense that’s given up an average of 24.3 points per game this season, which is eight-worst amongst teams, according to Statmuse.com.
The Colts, however, have been equally as bad as an offense, scoring just 13 total points in their last two games against the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants. Additionally, Indy hasn’t scored more than 20 points offensively since Week 10 against the Las Vegas Raiders when they put up 25. It should also be noted that both Houston and Indianapolis are tied for the second-worst scoring offenses in the league, averaging 16.1 points per game. Only the Denver Broncos (16) average slightly less.
With that said, although fans of both teams certainly have their attention toward the draft positioning of each team, unlike their first meeting back in Week 1 that ended in a 20-20 tie, I think the Colts pull out a close win over the Texans on Sunday.
- The Colts’ defense will hold Houston to less than 20 points and record multiple sacks
Perhaps one of the few bright spots from the Colts this season has been the overall performance of their defense, especially the production from the defensive line. The Colts are tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the eighth-most sacks accumulated this season with 43, according to Statmuse.com.
In terms of individual sack numbers, DeForest Buckner has recorded eight, Kwity Paye has six, Dayo Odeyingbo has five and Grover Stewart has four. They all have played significant roles in Indy’s defensive front playing as well as it has this season. Although Houston’s offensive line has only surrendered 37 sacks on the year, Indy’s defensive front has showcased the ability to make things difficult for opposing quarterbacks this season.
Despite scoring just three points in their Week 17 loss to Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston’s offense has played fairly well as of late. The Texans have scored more than their season average in points (16.1) in three of their last four contests, putting up 23, 24 and 19 points against the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, respectively.
Texans’ Quarterback Davis Mills has a 78.0 quarterback rating when under pressure this season, which is third-worst in the league, according to Statmuse.com. The second-year signal caller may struggle against Indy’s disruptive defensive front. I give the Colts’ defense the edge over Mills and Co. and ultimately like their chances of getting to the second-year signal caller often Sunday, recording multiple sacks and holding Houston to less than 20 total points.