Colts look to rebound, turn around season against Texans
HOUSTON (1-4) at INDIANAPOLIS (1-4)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS
OPENING LINE: Colts by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Houston 3-2; Indianapolis 3-2.
SERIES RECORD: Colts lead 30-9.
LAST MEETING: Colts beat Texans 27-20 on Dec. 20, 2020 at Indianapolis.
LAST WEEK: Texans lost to Patriots 25-22; Colts lost to Ravens 31-25, OT.
TEXANS OFFENSE: OVERALL (29), RUSH (28), PASS (17), SCORING (29).
TEXANS DEFENSE: OVERALL (26), RUSH (26), PASS (18), SCORING (29).
COLTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (T-16), RUSH (14), PASS (15), SCORING (21).
COLTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (18), RUSH (14), PASS (20), SCORING (23).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Texans 0; Colts plus-4.
TEXANS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Davis Mills. Everyone wants to see what the first rookie in league history to throw for 300-plus yards, three or more TDs and post a passer rating of at least 140.0, does for an encore.
COLTS PLAYER TO WATCH: Jonathan Taylor. The second-year running back is rounding into form behind an offensive line that has steadily improved. Taylor could have a big day against the sixth-worst run defense.
KEY MATCHUP: Colts QB Carson Wentz vs. Houston defense. Wentz threw for 402 yards and had a passer rating of 128.5, both career highs Monday. This weekend, he faces a defense that’s ranked sixth in takeaways (eight) after having only nine takeaways last season. Wentz has one interception this season — on a shovel pass.
KEY INJURIES: Houston LT Laremy Tunsil will be out after having surgery on his left thumb earlier this week. WR Danny Amendola (thigh) could return after missing the previous three games. QB Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) will not play. ... Indianapolis will again be without three-time All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson (sprained right ankle) and could be without kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (hip) and right tackle Braden Smith (strained foot). T.Y. Hilton (neck surgery) returned to practice earlier this week and might be cleared to play. Defensively, the Colts are awaiting word on end Kwity Paye (hamstring), safety Khari Willis (groin) and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (ankle). Cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Andrew Sendejo are in the concussion protocol.
SERIES NOTES: Indy has dominated this series with a winning percentage of 61.2%. The Colts swept Houston last season and have won four of the last five. The Texans are 6-13 all-time in Indy. ... The Colts moved from the AFC East to the AFC South when Houston entered the league in 2002.
STATS AND STUFF: Mills had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 on third downs last week, going 9 of 10 with 155 yards and two TDs. ... Houston RBs Mark Ingram, David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay have a total of 15,436 yards rushing in their careers, nearly 6,000 more than any other team’s active backfields. Ingram ran for 143 yards and one TD in his last game against the Colts in 2015. ... Johnson had a career-best 11 receptions in his most recent game against Indy. ... Houston DB Terrance Mitchell is tied for the league lead with three forced fumbles. ... Colts LB Darius Leonard’s next double-digit tackle game will be his 24th, breaking a tie with Gary Brackett for the franchise’s most since at least 1987. ... Jonathan Taylor needs 4 yards rushing to top the 1,000-yard career mark and and 8 yards from scrimmage to reach 2,000 yards. He would be the sixth player in franchise history to reach those numbers in his first two seasons. ... Indy’s 83 sacks allowed since 2018 are the third fewest in the league and the defense has allowed the second-fewest 100-yard rushers (four) since 2018.
FANTASY TIP: Hilton would be the easy pick — if he plays — because he has 1,803 yards receiving and 11 TD catches in 19 career games against Houston. If Hilton doesn’t play, Taylor or Michael Pittman Jr. would be the next logical options. Pittman has four straight games with six receptions and has 29 catches for 368 yards this season.