Indianapolis Colts (10-0, 5-4-1 ATS) at Houston Texans (5-5, 5-5 ATS)
Reliant Stadium Houston, T.X, NFL Week 12, Sunday November 29th, 1:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Colts -3/Houston +3
The Houston Texans suffered a disappointing loss to the streaking Tennessee Titans last Monday night falling 20-17 despite QB Matt Schaub having an excellent performance throwing for over 300 yards with 2 touchdowns. However, the Texans just could not stop the Titans running game allowing over 228 yards on the ground which resulted to the Texans falling short in the contest.
The Texans will not have to worry about the run this week, but they will face the league’s top passing offense led by Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts which will cause plenty of concern as well. The Colts have danced with destiny in recent weeks flirting with their first loss of the season. In fact, the last 4 games have been decided by 4 points or less. However, the Colts have pulled out the close wins and will put their 10-0 unblemished mark on the line once again this Sunday afternoon.
The game will actually feature two of the top offenses in the AFC as the Texans may be a less respected offense, but can inflict plenty of damage. Houston is averaging 23 points per game this season and Schaub leads the NFL’s 3rd ranked pass offense averaging a stout 284 yards per game through the air waves. The question is who will have the most firepower this Sunday and be able to rack up the most points in a game that has all the makings of gunslinger’s shootout.
However, the Colts success has been just as much a testament to their defense as well as their offense this season. The Indianapolis defense has given up 325 yards per game this season which ranks about dead middle of the road in the NFL. However, if you consider how many extra opportunities the defense has to slip up due to their dangerous offense and those numbers are fairly impressive.
If that does not impress you, the Colts lead the NFL allowing just 15.7 points per game and that has been against some of the best offenses in the league. The most unrecognized aspect to the Colt’s defense is their ability to force turnovers. Not only has Indianapolis force 13 fumbles this season, but they have also picked off 11 passes to result in the AFC’s 2nd best turnover margin at +6.
If the Colts defense can get those types of numbers to continue this Sunday, they will be tough to beat when you consider how QB Peyton Manning has played this year. Manning was held under the 300 yard passing mark for just the 2nd time this year last week against Baltimore. However, do not panic Colts fans as he still posted 299 while completing over 70% against the Ravens.
Manning is on track to bust down the 5,000 yard barrier and WR Reggie Wayne has been a big help to fuel the fire. Wayne leads the NFL with 968 receiving yards with 8 touchdowns this season. Wayne was held to just 64 yards on 8 catches in the previous meeting with the Texans this year and as a result the game was just a field goal difference. If Houston can keep him under control again, it will at least give them a shot to pull down the upset.
On offense, Schaub must be the man responsible to leading the sought after revenge. Schaub threw for 311 yards against the Colts just a few weeks ago, but the 2 interceptions definitely did not help matter. Schaub has proved he can be effective against the Indianapolis secondary and he must be again this Sunday. Of course Schaub will need help and it will likely come in unison if the Texans are to get enough help to win.
WR Andre Johnson is a big time player catching 58 passes for 878 yards on the season. Johnson caught a season high 10 passes against the Colts earlier this year and it is safe to say he will be a target for the Indianapolis defense. Houston will need WR Kevin Walter to help take some of the pressure off of Johnson and if that happens the offense will be able to move the ball down the field. The question is how many points can they score against the Colts premier scoring defense?
Jay’s Pick - More scoring this time around as less turnovers occur. As a result, the over 48 should be a good play.