Houston has had issues covering people in passing situations, but their run defense has been better. It will be a stiff test for the Colts.
The Colts have become a run-first team this season. Marlon Mack has been the backbone of this team all season long. The Colts as a team are the fourth best rushing offense, averaging 142 yards a game. They’ve done well so far in the running game. But they haven’t faced a defense this good.
Houston has the 8th best run defense in the league so far, only allowing 88 yards a game. They have done a good job plugging up the middle on opposing teams. They will have to do the same on Sunday if they want to stop Mack.
Last time these two teams faced each other, Mack had a field day. He ran for 148 yards behind an offensive line that was dominant the entire game. That offensive line will be the key in this one. They have been coming together these last couple of games after a rough preseason.
The offensive line should be in for a dog fight. While they no longer have to deal with Jadeveon Clowney, they still have to deal with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Both have been playing well and are still really good players in the front seven.
Getting Mack out in space would be big for the Colts. He is really hard to bring down one-on-one. Expect them to run a lot of stretch plays to allow Mack to use his vision to find cutback lanes. If he does that, they should be in a good position to win.