The Indianapolis Colts are coming out of the bye week after pulling off quite the upset over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5. They will be looking to do the same once again in Week 7 as they get set to host the Houston Texans.
The Colts had essentially been counted out when quarterback Andrew Luck announced his sudden retirement prior to the 2019 NFL season. Fortunately, quarterback Jacoby Brissett has proven to be more than up to the task by leading the Colts to a promising start to the year.
Despite struggling to stay in the win column, their 19-13 victory over the Chiefs helped them make a statement that they are still to be taken seriously in the AFC. They have a chance to solidify that notion with a divisional matchup against Houston.
Here are four reasons why the Colts will emerge victorious over the Texans.
1. T.Y. Hilton Torches the Texans
Any hope of Indianapolis staying in the win column this week is predicated on how involved they can get wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Fortunately, his track record versus Houston suggests that this should not be too difficult.
Hilton has made mincemeat of the Texans’ secondary throughout his career, hauling in 81 catches for 1,530 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games against them since entering the league. It is safe to say that Brissett will be looking to find him early and often as he has all season.
2. Marlon Mack and the Colts Rushing Attack
For years, the Colts have struggled to get any semblance of a rushing game going. However, that has hardly been the case this year with running back Marlon Mack leading the fourth-most potent rushing attack in the league.
Their stellar offensive line is more than capable of dominating the line of scrimmage. With Houston focused on containing Hilton over the top, this could allow more space for Mack to work with up front.
3. Darius Leonard Is Back
The Colts’ defense has been shorthanded with the absence of linebacker Darius Leonard. Fortunately, the extra time off was just what the All-Pro needed as he is now slated to make his return following a three-game absence.
The defense was able to step their game up while Leonard was sidelined, which included limiting a Chiefs’ offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes to just 13 points. Regardless, his return will provide a much-needed boost to a group trying to return to its elite 2018 form.
4. Houston’s Offensive Line
The offensive line for Houston had been an issue coming to the 2019 campaign, however, the acquisition of left tackle Laremy Tunsil has managed to lead quite a turnaround in recent weeks. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has not been sacked over the last two games and has only taken a total of three hits during that span.
Unfortunately, they suffered a significant blow just as they were starting to show improvement after right tackle Tytus Howard ruled out while dealing with a torn MCL. Although the Colts’ pass rush has struggled to generate consistent pressure this season, a matchup with this depleted Texans’ offensive line could be just what they need to get on the right track.