Texans vs Colts matchup preview and current betting lines
Two teams with literally zero incentive to show up to the field will square off when the ever-struggling Houston Texans face the disappointing Indianapolis Colts for the regular season finale. However, these teams being divisional rivals, there’s still a chance we get to watch an interesting football game.
That doesn’t seem likely, given both teams’ current picture. They should be thinking of the NFL draft, meaning they would be better off losing than winning. However, it’s not like the Indianapolis Colts need to add a lot of pieces to their solid core, so maybe the Houston Texans will be more invested in that.
The Texans were one of the first teams eliminated from playoff contention, which didn’t seem like much of a surprise considering they were a bottom-three team in most power rankings. Still, they fought harder than expected more often than not, although they failed to close out games, especially vs. contenders.
The Colts, on the other hand, were one of the biggest disappointments in the National Football League this season, and there are serious doubts about Jeff Saturday’s ability to thrive as a head coach. Once again, poor QB play doomed their campaign, even despite having an outstanding defensive unit and one of the best running backs in the game.
Players to watch:
Brandin Cooks: There was a point in the season where we actually thought Brandin Cooks was going to force his way out of Houston. He even sent the Texans a cryptic message about messing with his career after refusing to trade him mid-season. So, this might as well be his final game donning the Texans jersey.
Sam Ehlinger: As a surprise to none, Nick Foles was dreadful in his lone start for the Indianapolis Colts. Sam Ehlinger took over and the team looked slightly better, just like it happened when he subbed in for Matt Ryan. He hasn’t been exactly impressive, but he has a chance to prove that he could be the team’s solution at QB going forward.
Week 18 Predictions: NFL Bet of the week on Texans vs Colts
The opening Texans vs Colts spread have the home side favored by almost a field goal here. Truth be told, that only speaks volumes as to how terrible the Indianapolis Colts’ offense has been all season long, as they would’ve been favored by at least one touchdown if this game were to take place earlier in the season.
But we trust this offense better with Sam Ehlinger than with both Matt Ryan and Nick Foles. Unlike the washed-out veterans, Ehlinger can actually make plays with his feet and get out of the pocket before it inevitably collapses. More than that, he’s shown that he can, you know, throw the football longer than 5 yards downfield.
All jokes aside, the Colts are a much better team than the Houston Texans, even if they’re both eliminated. This game means more for Ehlinger, and he’ll handle it as an audition to showcase his skills, and it’s not like he’s not used to the weather and the condition, as he had a pretty decent college career with the Texas Longhorns.
Davis Mills has regressed this season, but the most important part about this is that the Texans will have absolutely no interest in winning this football game and altering their position in the upcoming NFL Draft. So, even if they’re somehow up late in this game, they’ll find a way to blow it up, even if it’s on purpose.
The opening Texans vs Colts odds have this game sitting at just 38 points per game. At first glance, this makes perfect sense. I mean, the Indianapolis Colts average a horrid 16.1 points per game, tied at the 30th spot in the National Football League with… you guessed it: the Houston Texans. Yeah, this may not be pretty.
Nonetheless, these numbers could be somewhat misleading, and we cannot ignore the fact that they came mostly with Matt Ryan under center. Also, both defenses have been mediocre, to say the least, averaging 24.3 points per game (Houston) and 24.7 points per game (Colts), which is good for 26th and 28th in the league, respectively.
We cannot ignore the fact that Jeff Saturday could be coaching for his job on Sunday as well. He’s shot himself in the foot over and over after that winning debut vs. the Las Vegas Raiders, including blowing the biggest lead in NFL history during that infamous Saturday afternoon matchup vs. the Minnesota Vikings.
So, the Colts cannot afford to take their foot off the gas, offensively, as they still have something at stake this season. Also, they should stay committed to their running game, which is terrible news for a Houston Texans team that’s been manhandled on the ground throughout the full regular season. This game will go over.