In Week 2, our Indianapolis Colts will host the Houston Texans. Knowing the party was coming to town, I sat down with Scott Barzilla aka VBallRetired of Battle Red Blog. You can find him on Twitter @SBarzilla. We swapped questions about the Colts and Texans and what follows is what I learned about this week’s enemy.
You can find my answers to his questions here.
Chris Shepherd: Very few people would have predicted that this week 18 matchup would be a win and in game for both of these teams. What has gone right for the Texans this season and what improvements have they made along the way that we will see in Saturday’s game?
Scott Barzilla: Much like the Colts, we finally got a coaching hire right. Ryans has the defense playing better overall and individually. That has them playing well in spite of injuries. On offense, it’s all about Stroud. When you get the quarterback right it makes things so much easier.
CS: Everyone knows that CJ Stroud has had a fantastic rookie season in Bobby Slowik’s Shanahan-esque offense. If you were a defensive coordinator trying to slow Stroud down, what kinds of things would you try to do?
Scott: I’d pressure him. He still takes a few too many sacks and doesn’t have elite level athleticism. That means shutting down the running game and being one dimensional.
CS: Conversely, if you were an offensive coordinator tasked with moving the ball and scoring points against the Texans defense, what does your plan look like? What strengths are you avoiding? What weaknesses are you attacking?
Scott: The Texans pass defense has been weak all season. Desmond Ridder and Zach Wilson torched them for crying out loud. The run defense has been stout but Minshew does not have to be brilliant to beat them.
CS: After Saturday’s game, one of these two teams will be looking forward to the offseason. With that in mind, seeing as both Texans and Colts fans feel good with where their teams are from a coaching and quarterbacking standpoint, what direction are Texans fans hoping the team will go in early in the draft? Any belief that the Texans will go all in to try to win it all while Stroud is on his rookie deal?
Scott: The Texans have never signed a true top of the market free agent. I’d expect them to sign several solid players for depth instead of one or two studs. I’d like to see a center or guard somewhere and probably an upgrade at running back at linebacker. We might be back in a best player available scenario which is a good place to be in.
CS: As of this writing the Colts are one point favorites at home on primetime. Is that a fair line, how do you see this game going and what will be the final score?
Scott: We’ve never fared well in Indy in a game that matters. I’m expecting it close and tight with both teams opening it up more. I’ll go 31-28 Colts as home field is tough to overcome in what amounts to a playoff game.
In case you forgot the Colts were also 1 point underdogs going into week two, when the Colts beat the Texans 31-20.
I’d like to thank Scott Barzilla of Battle Red Blog for taking the time to talk Colts vs. Texans.
As always, go Colts.