Week 17 Tale of the Tape: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
- QuarterbackIt has been a painful and disastrous season for the Texans after a promising start, and while injuries play a big part, it may be hard for Bill O’Brien to hold onto his head coaching slot. The injury to Deshaun Watson threw the team for a loop and the backup quarterbacks have not been adequate. T.J. Yates remains at the position, and he is a try-hard type with limited talent.The Colts have just not had the talent to compete in and stay in games for 60 minutes most weeks. They have obviously been short-handed at the quarterback position throughout the season because they have not had Andrew Luck all season. Jacoby Brissett is a decent quarterback who has made quite a bit of progress, but he does not compare to Luck.
- OffenseThe Texans have some talent on the offensive end, and there’s no reason this shouldn’t be one of the better attacking units in the league by the start of the 2018 season. Lamar Miller is a full-effort running back who is not going down after the first hit. Wideout DeAndre Hopkins has exceptional hands, pattern running skills and sideline control. Will Fuller is one of fastest players in the league.The Colts are going to have to pay a lot of attention to this area in the offseason. Frank Gore is one of the hardest working players in the league, but he has lost more than a step at this point. Wideout T.Y. Hilton is an explosive speedster who can get two steps behind the defense. Jack Doyle is an emerging force at tight end.
- DefenseThe Texans went into the season thinking they would be legitimate contenders with a chance to challenge New England in the AFC because of their dominant defense. However, superstar J.J. Watt has missed nearly the full season, as has Whitney Mercilus. Jadeveon Clowney is a pass-rushing force while Benardrick McKinney is one of the best tacklers in the league.The Colts regularly get pushed all over the field because their defense has a hard time standing up at the point of attack. Indianapolis lacks both strength and speed at the point of attack, and they need to improve their pass rush. Jabaal Sheard leads the team with 4.5 sacks, and that’s not good enough. Jon Bostic is a solid tackler at the linebacker position.
- Special TeamsThe Texans have been better on special teams than they are in most years, but they are still below average in this area. The Texans have been outgained on punt and kickoff returns, but they have an excellent punter in Shane Lechler and placekicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has been dependable.The Colts usually do a fine job on special teams, and they have been able to stay close and win a few games because of their talents in this area. Adam Vinatieri is still among the most dependable kickers in the league, and punter Rigoberto Sanchez has shown great promise.
The Colts have the homefield edge and they have better special teams. If Brissett can get his team off to a good start, the Colts have a good chance to win the regular-season finale.