NFL Football

20
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Indianapolis 7 3 7 3 20
Houston 0 7 0 7 14
14
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:� , November 5, 2017
NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 71,709

Texans look to move past controversy as Colts visit

According to STATS
According to STATS

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

  1. The Texans won just four of their first 27 games played against the Colts after joining the NFL as an expansion team in 2002, but have won each of their last three games played against Indianapolis. Each of the last six meetings between the two teams has been decided by one score (eight or fewer points).
  2. The Colts lost, 24-23, at Cincinnati last week, their fifth consecutive road loss dating back to last season (Indianapolis' longest road losing streak since losing 10 straight spanning the 2011 and 2012 seasons). The only team with a longer active road losing streak than the Colts are the Browns, who have dropped their last 16 games played away from home.
  3. The Texans lost at Seattle last week, 41-38, their fifth straight game with at least 30 points (the longest streak in franchise history and the longest streak by any team since the 2015 Steelers had a six-game streak). Houston now has three losses this season when scoring at least 30 points, the most in the NFL (Dallas is second with two).
  4. DeAndre Hopkins had 224 receiving yards in Week 8, the most by any player since Julio Jones totaled 300 in Week 4 of last season versus Carolina. Hopkins has now had at least 200 receiving yards in two games over his career (had a career-high 238 in Week 13 of 2014), one of four active players (minimum one game played this season) with multiple games with 200 or more receiving yards (also A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffery and Julio Jones).
  5. Jacoby Brissett threw two touchdown passes at Cincinnati in Week 8, his first career game with multiple TD passes. Brissett has thrown five career TD passes (all this season), four of which have come on the road.
  6. Last week at Seattle, Deshaun Watson became the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards (402), rush for at least 50 (67), and throw four or more touchdown passes in a single game (four). He also became the second player all-time to throw for at least 400 yards with four TD passes in a road game versus the Seahawks (also Ken O'Brien, who did so in 1986).
Team Comparison

Indianapolis
 
Houston
17.8 Points 30.7
221.3 Pass Yds 251.6
99.5 Rush Yds 138.3
12 Takeaways 11

HOUSTON -- The late-game collapse at Seattle last Sunday was just the icing on the cake for the Houston Texans after a week bloated with distractions, from owner Bob McNair igniting a firestorm with his controversial comments about NFL players to his players reacting negatively and taking their angst to the CenturyLink Field turf with a protest during the national anthem.

The Texans' 41-38 loss added a sour finish on the palate.

Houston coach Bill O'Brien was roundly criticized for his conservative play-calling in the waning moments, a cautious approach that fueled the Seahawks' last-second dash to the winning touchdown.

But just when it appeared that Houston left its issues in the rearview mirror, the organization traded stalwart left tackle Duane Brown on Monday, setting off another series of conversations that weren't focused solely on game prep in advance of an AFC South tilt with the visiting Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Brown, a three-time Pro Bowler and 2012 All-Pro, made his season debut in Seattle after a protracted holdout. When Brown returned, his voice resonated loudest in protest against McNair. The mess was resolved when Brown, a first-round pick in 2008, was shipped to Seattle.

"I have tremendous respect for Duane," O'Brien said. "He played very hard for us for the time that we were here and ... for six years previous to that. So we wish Duane the best. We always try to do what's best for the player and what's best for the team. It is a business. That's the nature of how the NFL works. Some guys get traded from one team to another, and you move on as a team.

"What's important is that the team understands that part of it, that part of the business and they get ready for Indianapolis. And the next guy's got to step up, whether it's, obviously, Chris Clark, Julien Davenport, Kendall Lamm. So, that's kind of how we address it. We definitely move on, and we wish Duane the best."

From a football perspective, cutting the cord on Brown is relatively simple. Even without their best offensive lineman for six games, the Texans (3-4) fashioned an offense that leads the NFL in point scored (215). That unit, lambasted after a miserable performance in a season-opening loss to Jacksonville, has improved steadily with dazzling rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson at the controls. The Texans should get along just fine without Brown.

However, Brown was a respected veteran in the locker room, as evidenced by his assertive and vocal reaction in the aftermath of the McNair imbroglio. That the Texans jettisoned him so quickly likely came as a shock to some, but not to those accustomed to business in the NFL.

"Not at all," Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. "I've been around this league for a long time. Nothing ever surprises me. Years ago, when I was (younger) in the league, you see guys like Peyton Manning, all the top guys, you see those guys get traded, even Jerry Rice, all those guys go to different teams. So I'll never be surprised in this league."

The Colts' issues are more football-centric. Indianapolis (2-6) ranks just 25th in points scored (142) and dead last in the NFL in points allowed (246). The inability to score enough to offset a vulnerable defense has yielded a three-game skid and a stretch of four losses in five games with the lone victory coming at home in overtime against the winless San Francisco 49ers.

The defensive failings offer a challenge every week for the Colts, but a visit to NRG Stadium presents a worst-case scenario. While the Texans came up short in Seattle, they amassed 509 yards and undermined that offensive explosion with eight penalties and three turnovers.

Not only did Watson pace the Texans to 30-plus points for a fifth consecutive game with 402 passing yards and another 67 on the ground, but his wide receiver tandem of DeAndre Hopkins (eight receptions, 224 yards, one touchdown) and Will Fuller (five receptions, 125 yards, two touchdowns) produced at extraordinary levels, portending doom for upcoming defenses.

"Another day at the office, right," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of facing Houston. "A great opportunity. Division game, on the road, hostile environment, zero will give us a chance. Love it. Perfect storm."

Updated November 1, 2017

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