The Texans have looked near-unstoppable on offense, while their defense continues to look like an out-of-place junior varsity squad. In order for the Colts to take home a win, they will have to capitalize on Houston’s awful pass defense, but not in the usual ways. Wide receiver TY Hilton is the obvious name to look out for, but tight end Eric Ebron has to have an effect on the game if Indianapolis wants to walk away with a victory.
Ebron is undoubtedly a very talented player, but he hasn’t shown it in 2019. Coming off of a 2018 campaign where he notched 750 yards and 13 touchdowns receiving, many expected another big season from Ebron. Unfortunately, the Colts haven’t involved him in the offense nearly as much, as he’s only on the field for 41% of snaps, far less than fellow tight end Jack Doyle.
Doyle wins his snap share through his great run-blocking, but that won’t be as much of a factor against the Texans. Houston is the eighth-best run defense in the NFL, and they’ll make sure to key in on the rushing attack against the Colts. Running has been the most reliable offense for Indianapolis, but it won’t be this week. With the Texans locked in on running back Marlon Mack, the Colts will be forced to lean on the passing game. Ebron is the far superior option in the passing attack.
With Eric Ebron seeing the field for more snaps, the Colts can get the best matchups possible. Houston safety Tashaun Gipson is questionable for the tilt, and he’s the primary tight end stopper for the Texans. If Gipson sits out, Ebron should have no problem exposing backup safety Jahleel Addae in one-on-one coverage. This point becomes especially important in the red zone, where the 6’4″ Ebron does most of his damage. Addae is a measly 5’10”, nowhere near big enough for Ebron. There are no Houston linebackers with the speed to stay anywhere near the speedy tight end, so whoever ends up covering Ebron will be on an island. That’s a recipe for disaster for the Texans, and a recipe for six for the Colts.