The AFC South has stayed tight so far this season. All 4 teams within the division still have a shot at winning it. The two teams that are tied in first place at 6-4, will meet tonight for an important matchup for both teams, as the Colts head to Texas to face the Texans. This could be a make or break week in the South, as the bottom two teams, the 5-5 Titans, and the 4-6 Jaguars, also meet Sunday afternoon.
The Texans matchup from a week ago was billed as the game of the season, in what instead turned into the nightmare of the season, as they Ravens blew Houston out, 41-7. The Colts returned starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett last week in a win against the Jags. Brissett looks to pick up where he left off and put his Colts back into playoff contention. Houston is favored by -3.5 going into the game, the O/U is set at 46.
A Team That Needs it’s Leader
Jacoby Brissett has led the Colts to a 6-3 record in his starts this season, with nearly a 65% completion percentage, and 15 touchdowns to only 4 picks. In the game and a half played by backup Brian Hoyer, he equaled Brissett in picks with 4. The offense just seems to flow through Brissett this season.
Brissett will be without his leading running back in Marlon Mack, and number one receiver T.Y. Hilton is questionable with a calf injury. Brissett has found a solid number two receiver in Zach Pascal, who has a few more yards than Hilton on the season, and tight end Eric Ebron, who has just a few less yards than the duo. The question for the Colts is how their defense will lineup against Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense.
Slowing Their Roll
After the beating that Houston took a week ago, you can bet that they will look to rebound in this important game. Watson only put up 181 total yards in the loss, and threw 0 touchdowns to 1 interception. Despite an ankle injury, Watson is expected to play tonight. Number 2 wideout Will Fuller is also questionable headed into the contest, having been limited in practice all week with a hamstring injury.
While the Texans passing defense ranks near the bottom of the league, their rushing defense has remained solid even without J.J. Watt, as they rank 13th in the league in rushing yards per game. Zach Cunningham and company will have to find ways to get to Brissett to compete with the Colts on Thursday. The matchup will likely see a bit more passing with Mack being sidelined.
Sittin’ Fat Down South
The health of the Colts offense may swing this pick a wide margin. Mack and Hilton are too important to this offense to not notice their absence. Hilton likely won’t be 100%, even if he’s on the field tonight. The Texans are only 1-3 against the line when favored this season, and have been beaten by the spread in 3 of their last 4. The Colts have only beat the spread 1 out of their last 4, but are 2-1-1 against the line when they’re the underdog. That being said, the injuries are still nerve racking, but you’ve got nerves of steel, right??!? The pick here is the Colts beat the line, and my money is also on the Over.