Houston and Deshaun Watson having nothing to lose should scare the Colts.
The Indianapolis Colts visit the Houston Texans on Sunday as they look to avenge their humbling Week 12 defeat in which they surrendered first place in the AFC South to Tennessee.
On paper, this has all the makings to be a convincing win for Indianapolis. After all, a 7-4 team should beat a 4-7 team, right? A team fighting to win a division and keep their ground in a congested playoff race should dispose of a team who has nothing to play for, right?
Yes, but it’s never that simple. The thought of Houston and star quarterback Deshaun Watson playing with nothing to lose is terrifying and we seriously hope the Colts haven’t been taking them lightly in practice this week.
That’s right, folks: one more loss and the Colts could find themselves on the outside of the AFC playoff picture with four games to play.
You might think that we should be spewing optimism given that Indy will almost be back at full strength for the game after a handful of players were activated from the COVID-19 reserve list, but if going up against Watson doesn’t scare you as a fan, you clearly haven’t been watching him play over the last two months.
Houston’s record might not indicate that Watson has been performing out of his skin, but that’s been precisely the case from Weeks 6-12. During that span, the 25-year-old stud is completing 70.5% of his passes for 1,750 yards (291.6 per game) and 15 touchdowns compared to zero interceptions. Those numbers equate to an ungodly 122.2 passer rating.
If you do the math, Watson has gone 200 pass attempts without throwing an interception, and that is by far the longest stretch of any quarterback in the NFL this season. He’s also contributed 210 rushing yards and a touchdown with his legs over the last six games.
The Texans are just 3-3 during that stretch — that’s more of an indictment on them as a franchise than Watson — but two of those losses were one-score defeats, meaning they could’ve easily been on the winning side had things fallen their way.
Again, we’re not saying that Houston should be favored, but Colts fans shouldn’t be viewing this game as an easy win. In fact, given Watson’s impeccable run, we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this went down to the wire.