Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Matchup Preview (10/17/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Matchup Preview (10/17/21)

A heartbreaking loss can either be a great motivator or the start of a downward spiral. The Houston Texans might not have expected to dominate this season, but had a real chance to beat the New England Patriots on Sunday. Houston had the Pats on the ropes for a large part of the game, leading 22-9 in the third quarter. However, even a strong performance from rookie QB Davis Mills wasn’t enough to hold off New England, who mounted a comeback and finished the game 25-22. Now the Texans sit at 1-4, tied with the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South. 

And speaking of the Colts, they’ve got a few late-game regrets of their own. In the Monday Night Football showdown against the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis dominated for a large portion of the game, even holding a 25-9 lead against the Ravens in the fourth quarter. Starting to sound familiar? The Ravens blazed back with 22 unanswered points to win in overtime. For a team with big playoff aspirations, that’s a punch to the gut. When the Texans and Colts meet this Sunday, let’s take a look at what to expect from these AFC South competitors desperate for a W.

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Betting Odds

I’m not going to completely overreact to the recent Indianapolis Colts collapse. It was rough, yes, but this team is too talented to start out 1-5. Despite defensive issues, the Colts have a solid core of offensive talent in QB Carson Wentz, RB Jonathan Taylor, and WR Michael Pittman Jr. Meanwhile, I also don’t want to overreact to the Texans playing it close against the superior Patriots, as I believe coaching decisions and subpar talent is ultimately going to hold this team back all season. 

I see this game showcasing an emotional all-out performance for the Colts. If the team keeps the offensive mindset they had early against the Ravens, they should be able to shred the Texans. However, I still see the Texans getting some points off of this weakened Colts defense. If QB Davis Mills keeps up his strong level of play, he’ll at least keep the Colts on their toes. Nevertheless, Indianapolis comes back in big fashion against a suddenly overvalued Texans team.

My predictions: Colts win 34-21, Colts -9.5, over 42.5 points

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, September 17
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
TV Coverage: CBS

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Live Stream

Where can you watch Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Free Online Now.

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Injuries

Houston Texans: TE Brevin Jordan (illness) Q, RB Rex Burkhead (hip) Q, WR Danny Amendola (thigh) Q, T Laremy Tunsil (thumb) Q, QB Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) IR, T Marcus Cannon (back) IR, WR Nico Collins (shoulder) IR, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring) IR
Indianapolis Colts: RB Jordan Wilkins (illness) Q, CB Rock Ya-Sin (ankle) Q, DE Isaac Rochell (illness) Q, T Braden Smith (foot/thumb) Q, DE Kwity Paye (hamstring) Q, K Rodrigo Blankenship (hip) Q

Houston Texans Analysis

It’s hard not to like what we saw from QB Davis Mills last week. After an awful performance against the Buffalo Bills in which Mills threw for 87 yards and four interceptions, the former Stanford QB came back strong against the Pats, throwing for 312 yards, three TDs, and no picks. Is this a sign of things to come or an anomaly for the young passer? We’ll know more after this week.

Outside of WR Brandin Cooks, I’m a bit disappointed in the skill players on this roster. RB Mark Ingram II leads the team with 212 rushing yards, but he’s only averaging 3.1 yards per rush and 42.4 yards per game. RBs David Johnson and Philip Lindsay have been extremely underused on the ground so far this season, which is confusing given the team’s lack of offensive spark for much of the year. To his credit, Johnson has played a small factor in the passing game. If Mills is going to be successful, he needs to start spreading it out more. Cooks is leading the team with 44 targets, 28 more than the next receiver on the list. 

The Texans defense wasn’t expected to be great this season, but they really need to make some stops. The D just finished their last game allowing 16 unanswered points against the New England Patriots and is averaging 28.2 points per game. The team also desperately needs to get the pass rush going. They’ve only logged eight sacks so far, near the bottom of the league.

Houston Texans Depth Chart

QB: Davis Mills
RB1: Mark Ingram II
RB2: David Johnson
WR1: Danny Amendola
WR2: Brandin Cooks
WR3: Chris Conley
TE1: Jordan Atkins

Indianapolis Colts Analysis

The Colts are going to need to shake that bad loss off quickly to keep their season afloat. If you turned off the TV at halftime Monday night, you’d probably think they’ve turned things around after a rough start. Well, that late collapse might be a sign of deeper issues, especially with the defense. The D was supposed to be a strong suit this season, but the unit’s been quite underwhelming. After fielding a top 10 defense last season, the team is allowing 369.2 yards per game. These issues were fully on display on Monday night, as the Ravens gained 523 yards, the majority of which came in the second half. 

As bad as the defense has been this season, the offense has surprised at times. QB Carson Wentz had a major performance on Monday night, with a career-high 402 yards to go with two TDs. He’s only thrown one pick the entire season after leading the league last year. RB Jonathan Taylor is one of my favorite young backs in the league, but the Colts need to utilize him, better. They only handed him the ball 15 times against the Ravens, and you have to feel that more carries would let the powerful rusher run down the clock.

Indianapolis Colts Depth Chart

QB: Carson Wentz
RB1: Jonathan Taylor
RB2: Nyheim Hines
WR1: Zach Pascal
WR2: Michael Pittman Jr.
WR3: Parris Campbell
TE1: Jack Doyle

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Daily Fantasy Picks

Texans WR Brandin Cooks is getting plenty of targets, and he’s going to need to hit the end zone more often if the team wants to get points on the board. The receiver is currently valued at $5,800 on DraftKings, which is a deal compared to more expensive receivers like Devonta Smith and Cortland Sutton. I expect the Texans to air it out consistently to keep up with the Colts offense. Don’t be surprised if Cooks gets plenty of looks.

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Anthony Elio is a professional writer based in Denver, CO. While he’s written about everything from video games to couponing in the past, he’s set his sights on sports betting. He also plays drums in the Denver rock band Television Generation.

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