Indianapolis had visions of playing for a division lead this week if the Cleveland Browns could pull off an upset in Houston.
Well, not only did the Browns fail to hold up their end of the bargain, the Colts literally laid a goose egg in Jacksonville to turn what shaped up as a battle between the two hottest teams in the AFC into a fight for playoff survival for the Colts.
Five straight wins put the Colts into the playoff conversation after a horrendous 1-5 start to their season. But after the Jaguars’ defense put the 2017 version of themselves on the field in Florida, Indianapolis is among a group of 6-6 teams looking for a little help in their wild-card pursuit.
Houston could make that pursuit infinitely more difficult. The Texans had a pretty rough start of their own, dropping their first three games before rattling off nine straight wins. They not only took control of the division, but are challenging the Patriots, Chiefs, and Steelers for home-field advantage in the AFC.
Lamar Miller looks reborn as the Texans running game has taken off. Last season, Miller was great during the time Deshaun Watson exploded onto the scene. Indeed, as Watson has made progress from injuries this season, Miller’s game has improved exponentially.
Demaryius Thomas is becoming a threat for opposing defenses, too as he masters the Texans playbook.
Injuries and notes
Houston activated D’Onta Freeman from the PUP list this week. He could join Miller in the backfield before the end of the season.
Right tackle Kendall Lamm is in the concussion protocol and right guard Zach Fulton is listed as questionable with a hand injury.
Keke Coutee is still listed as questionable as he recovers from his hamstring pull.
Indianapolis center Ryan Kelly is questionable.
Bill O’Brien might never lose a game again. This streak started with some ugly wins with an injured quarterback behind center. But each week, the team seems stronger and smoother in its operation. O’Brien is a hero to fans starving for a championship football team in Houston.
Frank Reich’s offense was stopped dead in its tracks against Jacksonville last week. But the mood in Indianapolis is calm as Reich shrugs it off to a fluky event every team has once a year. His attitude and innovation have the Colts believing they can move the ball against Houston and put themselves right back into the playoff picture.
How to watch the Texans-Colts game
CBS Sports will send this broadcast to its affiliates throughout Texas and much of the middle sections of the country. That means fans subscribing to DirecTV Now can watch this game live on their favorite internet device.
DirecTV Now carries the local and national networks you need to watch all the live stream NFL action you can handle. And when there’s no game, explore the dozens of movie and entertainment channels included with a low-cost monthly subscription.
DirecTV Now, like Fubo TV, Sling, and other internet TV providers, never make you sign a contract or drill into your house to install unsightly and expensive equipment. Subscription rates are just a fraction of what you pay for a typical cable or satellite system.
DirecTV Now, Fubo TV, and Sling each offer a no-obligation trial period, so you can see for yourself how awesome they are before you spend a penny. Do it today and see why you need to join the internet TV revolution.
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Who will win the Texans-Colts game?
Houston has to lose eventually, and Indianapolis knows they can play well enough to beat them. Frank Reich will have his troops ready to rebound from last week’s shutout as they chase an unlikely playoff berth.
But the Texans are on a special kind of roll; one that is not likely to end in front of their home fans against a division rival they can put away.