COLTS (2-6) VS. TEX­ANS (3-4)


USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - LEADING OFF - Jor­dan God­win

An­nounc­ers: Greg Gum­bel, Trent Green, Jamie Er­dahl

About the Colts: With vic­tory in their sights, the Colts found another way to lose and con­tinue their mis­er­able 2017 sea­son when QB Ja­coby Bris­sett threw a late pick-six to cough up a 24-23 loss in Cincin­nati. Bris­sett had played one of his best games of the sea­son, throw­ing two touch­down passes and keep­ing Indy ahead for much of the game un­til his costly in­ter­cep­tion. The loss was just another kick to the gut for the Colts fol­low­ing more bad news of An­drew Luck’s slug­gish re­turn from shoul­der surgery and lin­ger­ing sore­ness pre­vent­ing his come­back any­time soon. In brighter news, Adam Vi­natieri could move into sec­ond place on the NFL’s al-time scor­ing list. He’s tied with Gary An­der­son at 2,434 points, trail­ing only Morten Andersen’s 2,544 points. The Colts take their three-game skid to Hous­ton, where they have won in three of their last four trips. About the Tex­ans: Af­ter their 41-38 shootout loss in Seat­tle, Tex­ans fans made their loud­est clamor for coach Bill O’Brien’s im­me­di­ate fir­ing fol­low­ing sev­eral ques­tion­able de­ci­sions that led to the loss. It was a hec­tic week for O’Brien and the Tex­ans af­ter owner Bob McNair’s com­ments nearly led to a player walk­out. Against Seat­tle, rookie QB De­shaun Wat­son threw for 402 yards, four touch­downs and three in­ter­cep­tions, rush­ing for 67 yards while be­ing sacked five times. WR De­An­dre Hop­kins had eight catches for 224 yards and a touch­down, and Will Fuller V added 125 yards and two touch­downs on five catches. The Tex­ans will try to pick up the pieces and move on.

Matchup to watch: Colts WR T.Y. Hil

ton vs. Tex­ans CB Ka­reem Jack­son. Hil­ton def­i­nitely has missed hav­ing Luck pelt­ing him with tar­gets, but re­gard­less of the quar­ter­back, he al­ways has been mon­strous against the Tex­ans. In 10 ca­reer games, Hil­ton has av­er­aged 5.5 catches for 94.2 yards and has seven ca­reer touch­downs. He has topped 100 yards in four of those games, in­clud­ing one 223-yard doozy in 2014. Player to watch: Colts TE Jack Doyle. The mas­sive tight end broke through for 12 catches and 121 yards in Week 8, in­clud­ing a 13-yard touch­down. Con­sid­er­ing Seat­tle TE Jimmy Gra­ham had two touch­down re­cep­tions against Hous­ton, in­clud­ing the go-ahead touch­down with 21 sec­onds left, don’t be sur­prised if Doyle has another big game.

Num­ber crunch­ing: 500. The Tex­ans had 509 yards against Seat­tle in Week 8 and still lost. En­ter­ing the game, the Tex­ans were 5-0 all-time when amass­ing more than 500 yards.


1. Ground con­trol: Hous­ton’s rush de­fense ab­so­lutely lim­ited Seat­tle to 33 rush­ing yards on 21 at­tempts, the Sea­hawks’ low­est rush­ing out­put at home since 2010.

2. Clowney on the prowl: Tex­ans DE Jade­veon Clowney was me­nac­ing in Seat­tle, fre­quently chas­ing QB Rus­sell Wil­son and get­ting four tack­les, two tack­les for loss and one sack. With J.J. Watt and Whit­ney Mer­cilus out, the Colts must stop Clowney.

3. Late in­ter­cep­tions: Both Bris­sett and Wat­son threw costly in­ter­cep­tions late in their Week 8 losses that even­tu­ally led to their de­feat. Bris­sett’s came on a pass tipped by a de­fen­sive line­man, while Wat­son’s came deep in the se­condary. Fourth-quar­ter ball con­trol in the pass­ing game is huge. 4. Red-zone op­por­tu­ni­ties: The Colts are 3-for-13 in red-zone trips over the last four games, a ma­jor fac­tor in their three-game los­ing streak. They were 7-for-10 in red-zone trips in its first four games.


Colts’ T.Y. Hil­ton

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