The Indianapolis Colts head south to face the Houston Texans on a short week. I spoke with Stephen Forsha, editor of Toro Times, to get some behind the scenes information heading into Thursday night’s game.
1. How have the Texans managed to jump out to a 3-2 start? What has been the calling card of this team in its wins?
The calling card for this team has been the running game of Arian Foster and an improved defense. The defense this season just looks better, and it has made a difference in the win-loss column.
On offense, the Texans have used their running game first and foremost, and they’ve tried to limit mistakes. The worst game of offense this season was Week Three … the game that Foster missed.
2. What are the expectations for this team going forward? They are currently tied for the lead in the division, is the fanbase thinking playoffs? How long can they continue to trust Ryan Fitzpatrick?
A lot of the expectations moving forward hinge on the outcome of the game on Thursday. If the Texans could possibly gain the win, they would have a realistic shot at a spot in the postseason, but they will have to prove they can win against teams that have winning records.
Houston this season has wins against the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills. Including the Thursday night game, three of the next four weeks are against teams with winning records.
As for Ryan Fitzpatrick, I’ve lost trust in him. In fact, I really never had that must trust in him to begin win. He’s more of a game manager, and needs a running game to support his overall play.
3. Besides JJ Watt, the Worldbreaker, who has stood out on this roster? Who else making the big plays for Houston?
That has to be Arian Foster. Foster had 404 yards rushing on 86 carries with three touchdowns. This past week Foster had 157 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns.
Foster is averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and in three of the four games he’s played in this season he has rushed for over 100 yards.
4. Who needs to have a good game for the Texans to pull off a win on Thursday night? Who’s the x-factor on each side of the ball?
I would say Foster, because the better he is, the better the Texans are, but I’m going to also say DeAndre Hopkins needs to have a good game as well.
Hopkins in in his season season of his NFL career, and if Foster is doing his thing running the ball, the passing game needs to open up as well. That said, the Texans need their first round pick from 2013 to continue to improve on his ’14 season. If he can start becoming a playmaker, than the Texans can go far.
5. What is your prediction? Who wins on Thursday night and why?
I like what both teams have done, and I see this being the most competitive Thursday night game of the season. I’m also going with an upset as well, with the Texans coming out on top by a 28-21 score.
I say that because the Texans had a close meeting with the Colts last year in primetime, and the Texans in ’14 are a little better than they were last season. The win on Thursday will most likely come down to stopping Andrew Luck. If the Texans can keep him from taking over the game, then they’ll have a chance.