Hous­ton hunt­ing for con­fi­dence, win at Indy

Vic­tory would have mul­ti­ple re­wards for Ku­biak’s team.

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Kristie Rieken

HOUS­TON — The Tex­ans need a win this week­end at Indianapolis to earn a bye and home-field ad­van­tage through­out the AFC play­offs.

They also want to build some mo­men­tum in­stead of limp­ing into the post­sea­son, a weird place to be for a team that is 12-3. Hous­ton had a chance to se­cure home-field ad­van­tage with a win last week, only to post its worst of­fen­sive per­for­mance of the sea­son in a 23-6 loss to the Vik­ings.

“It’s not im­por­tant, it’s cru­cial, be­cause in or­der for you to get to where you want to be, you have to be play­ing your best ball,” veteran line­backer Bradie James said. “And that’s what we’ve been work­ing on this week. Guys have been frown­ing dur­ing the hol­i­day time. So that means we should re­spond well.”

They now have to win at Indianapolis, where the Tex­ans are 0-10. The Colts, who went 2-14 last sea­son, are 10-5 this sea­son and have al­ready se­cured a play­off spot.

“This is like a play­off game for us,” quar­ter­back Matt Schaub said. “This is a team that is in the play­off them­selves and we’re in their build­ing. With all that we can gain from play­ing well and get­ting a win on the road, it’s def­i­nitely a play­off-type game.”

Schaub and the of­fense should get a lift from the re­turn of run­ning back Arian Fos­ter, who missed most of the sec­ond half of Sun­day’s game be­cause of an ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat in a game where Hous­ton rushed for a sea­son-low 34 yards. He has prac­ticed all week and coach Gary Ku­biak said he will play Sun­day.

He said since it had hap­pened to him be­fore, the med­i­cal staff knew ex­actly how to han­dle it on Sun­day.

“Any­time some­thing like that hap­pens that’s un­usual, so it con­cerns you,” Ku­biak said. “At least it’s some­thing that they had a lit­tle his­tory with and they could deal with.”

This is Hous­ton’s sec­ond game with the Colts in the last three weeks. Hous­ton’s only win in the last three games was in a 29-17 vic­tory over the Colts two weeks ago.

Ku­biak said it’s a big week for his veter­ans to step up and help get the team headed back in the right di­rec­tion. He doesn’t really have to say any­thing to those play­ers be­cause they know what needs to be done.

“There’s an­other level that you play the game at,” Ku­biak said. “There’s an­other level of ex­pec­ta­tions. There’s an­other level of re­spon­si­bil­ity, and that’s why you see a lot of the same peo­ple in the play­offs all the time ... be­cause they find ways to raise that level. To me that’s the next step for this or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

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