Colts vs. Texans season finale could take on whole new meaning than it had last year

The Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans will face off in the regular season finale and the game could have much different stakes than it did a year ago.
Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans have been two of the most surprising teams this season. Entering Week 11, Indy is 5-5 and Houston is 5-4. Both teams are alive in the AFC playoff picture and even have a chance to catch the 6-3 Jacksonville Jaguars, who currently lead the AFC South. The Colts and Texans have already met once this season, and Indianapolis took the first game, winning 31-20 in Week 2. Since they are in the same division, they’ll meet again this season.

That second game is scheduled for Week 18, the regular-season finale. Based on how both teams are looking at this point of the season, that game could have some major implications. Both teams could be fighting for a playoff spot, and possibly the division. The possibility of that is fascinating because these two teams met in the regular-season finale a year ago and the game had completely different implications.

Colts and Texans have quickly come a long way

The Week 18 game between these two teams last season had draft implications. With Houston and Indy being two of the worst teams in the league during the 2022 season, everyone was locked in on the game to see what the order would look like at the top of the 2023 NFL Draft. With a loss, the Texans would have had the No. 1 pick. However, they pulled off an improbable win, and the game ended up being the first sequence in a chain of events that led both teams to where they are now.

Houston ended up with the No. 2 pick, which it used to select CJ Stroud, and Indy ended up with the No. 4 pick, which it used to select Anthony Richardson. The Texans hired DeMeco Ryans as their head coach and the Colts hired Shane Steichen. Now, 10 weeks into this season, both franchises believe they found the right coach and the right quarterback.

The duos should lead both franchises to a lot of success, and that success could come earlier than expected. Even with Anthony Richardson sidelined, the Colts have found several ways to win games. In Houston, Stroud is taking the league by storm and is even in the MVP conversation. If both teams can keep it up in the second half of the season, Week 18 will be a showcase of a major one-year reversal.