The Colts are heading straight for a divisional matchup against the Houston Texans to take control of the AFC South early in the season.
Every win in the NFL is a must, but divisional wins are much more important. The Colts are second behind the Texans in the AFC South with a 3-2 record while the Texans, who have yet to have their bye week, are 4-2. Coming off a win against the Chiefs, the Texans are coming to play. They are looking to use their passing attack to take out the Colts secondary which could still be missing Malik Hooker from a knee injury sustained in week 3 against the Falcons.
Deshaun Watson has developed into a premier NFL quarterback and can beat the Colts on the ground as well. In the previous years, these games have always come down to who has the ball last. This year could be the same. Watson, who has an awful offensive line, will make mistakes when pressured. The key to the victory is the Colts’ defensive line putting pressure on him and forcing mistakes.
On the year, the Texans have almost 100 more passing snaps than rushing snaps (155 rushing to 258 passing), so it’s likely the Texans will try to beat the Colts through the air. With over 1,600 yards on the season and 12 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, he doesn’t make many mistakes that lead to turnovers. He also has a completion percentage of nearly 70%, too.
However good he is, his offensive line is nearly the worst in the league. Laremy Tunsil is the best at left tackle with a 77 grade and nearly a 90 on pass blocking. Justin Houston will have a hard time getting around Tunsil, but where the weakness is at the interior offensive linemen. Max Scharping at left guard is rated at 52 with the right guard, Zach Fulton, rated at 73; both having pass blocking ratings below 75.
This is the week Denico Autry and Margus Hunt need to get after the quarterback. Houston and Sheard need to get around their tackles and force Watson to step up leading to sacks and forced mistakes leading to turnover opportunities for the Colts’ defense.
The Texans are a good team and the Colts and their fans should respect that. However, the Colts are beginning to develop into an elite AFC team and in order to do so, we need to win every Divisional game.