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Bold Predictions: Colts vs. Texans

The Colts take on the Texans in Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season.

NFL: JAN 08 Texans at Colts Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season is here, and the Indianapolis Colts take on another divisional opponent, the Houston Texans Sunday. Both the Colts and Texans sit at 0-1 and will be looking to capture their first win of the season.

Here are my bold predictions ahead of Sunday’s AFC South matchup against Houston.

  • The Colts will rush for over 100 yards in Zack Moss’ season debut

Indianapolis gets a much-needed boost to their running back room with the return of Zack Moss, who will make his season debut against the Texans on Sunday. Without Moss against Jacksonville in Week 1, the Colts struggled heavily to run the ball effectively, managing only 25 yards on 16 attempts between Deon Jackson, Jake Funk and rookie Evan Hull.

With Moss returning to the starting lineup, that should help ease some of the pressure off rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, who was really Indianapolis’ only sense of a running attack with 40 rushing yards against the Jaguars. Moss has shown he can be a reliable back during his short time with the Colts. When these two teams last faced to end the 2022 regular season, Moss rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.3 yards per attempt.

Houston, on the other hand, really struggled stopping Baltimore’s rushing attack in Week 1, giving up 110 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. While there wasn’t a single player that stood out, the Ravens’ rushing attack still proved effective and was a big part of their 25-9 victory over Houston. I think Indianapolis’ running game bounces back in a major way, with Moss leading the charge.

  • The Colts’ defense will force at least two takeaways against Houston’s offense

If there’s an area where the Colts should have advantage, it would be upfront along their defensive line. In Week 1, Indianapolis’ pass rush got the better of Jacksonville’s young offensive line, sacking Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence twice and forcing a fumble, which DT DeForest Buckner returned for a touchdown. The pressure caused by Indy’s defensive front also forced several errant throws from Lawrence, who also turned it over through the air.

It appears likely that the Colts could be facing a Texans’ offensive line without All-Pro tackle Laremy Tunsil, who’s dealing with a knee injury. As a unit, Houston’s offensive line surrendered five sacks against the Ravens. Indy’s pass rush is looking to carry over the success they had against Jacksonville into Houston, and Tunsil’s possible absence is certainly far from ideal for the Texans, who struggled to protect their young quarterback in Week 1.

Texans’ rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud was added to the injury report Friday with a right shoulder injury. His status is certainly worth monitoring, with third-year quarterback Davis Mills backing up Stroud. Regardless of who’s at the helm, I think the Colts’ pass rush will help force a few errant throws and force at least two takeaways on Sunday.