This is it. After a humiliating loss at the hands of the Jaguars, the Colts’ playoff lives are on the line. Sitting 6-6, the Colts are on the outside of the playoff bubble looking in. On Sunday, the scorching Houston Texans will test their mettle. Last time Indianapolis and Houston met, the Texans won 37-34 in overtime. However, the game was in the Colts’ hands and they were playing with two backup tackles and a myriad of other injuries. This game will be the biggest test of will for this young Colt team. In unrelated news, Colts’ fans rejoice as Daurice Fountain is finally on the active roster after an eternity on the practice squad.

Injury Report

Colts

Out

TE Mo Alie-Cox (Calf)

WR Dontrelle Inman (Shoulder)

C Ryan Kelly (Knee)

S Mike Mitchell (Calf)

Questionable

DT/DE Denico Autry (Back)

CB Nate Hairston (Ankle)

WR T.Y. Hilton (Shoulder)

DT Margus Hunt (Knee)

CB Chris Milton (Hamstring)

Also Listed

T Anthony Castonzo (Knee)

TE Eric Ebron (Back/Illness)

S Clayton Geathers (Knee)

S Malik Hooker (Hip)

WR Chester Rogers (Groin)

TE Erik Swoope (Knee)

LB Anthony Walker (Knee)

Texans

Out

C/G/ Zach Fulton (Hand)

Questionable

WR Keke Coutee (Hamstring)

CB Jonathan Joseph (Neck/Shoulder)

OLB Brennan Scarlett (Ankle)

Also listed

ILB Dylan Cole (Wrist/Ankle)

CB Aaron Colvin (Ankle)

ILB Zach Cunningham (Knee)

P Trevor Daniel (Right Hip)

RB D’onta Foreman (Achilles)

WR DeAndre Hopkins (Foot)

CB/S Kareem Hunt (Groin)

G Senio Kelemete (Ankle)

T Kendall Lamm (Concussion)

ILB Brina Peters (Ankle)

S Justin Reid (Shoulder/Wrist)

QB DeShaun Watson (Right Shoulder)

DE J.J. Watt (Knee)

Key Matchups

Colts’ Offensive Tackles vs Texans’ Edge Rush

Last time the Colts and Texans squared off, the two starting tackles were Le’Raven Clark and Joe Haeg. It’s safe to say they are no match for J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney (no tackles are, to be fair). In week 4, the the Texans sacked Andrew Luck four times and hit him 11 times.  At this point, the Colts offensive line is in a much better position to contain Houston’s rush.

Although not flawless over the last two weeks, the Colts offensive line has been excellent over the last few months. Their tackle duo of Anthony Castonzo and Braden Smith has been one of the best in the NFL. Keeping a clean pocket against two of the best pass rushers in the NFL is a mighty tall order but one that these tackles have done before and can do again.

Colts’ Edge Rush vs Texans’ Offensive Tackles

Conversely, the Texans’ offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL, despite improvement over the season. In their last matchup with the Texans, the Colts sacked DeShaun Watson a staggering seven times. This was also without rookie Tyquan Lewis, who has been a solid piece on the line. Kemoko Turay, Jabaal Sheard, and Denico Autry will need to bother Watson to throw off Houston’s offense. They need to keep Watson contained in the pocket so his legs can’t break open the offense.

Prediction

The Colts will once again play tight with the Texans but won’t have enough firepower to halt the speeding bullet that is Houston.Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_, @FPC_NBA and @FPC_Colts.

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