Houston – Sunday the Colts wrap up the toughest month of their season. The final game of November might be the toughest. The Houston Texans are only 5-5. But they need this win in the worst way, and they want to beat the Colts in the worst way.
The Colts won their first 6 games by an average of 17 points. They have won four games so far this month by a total of 10 points. The schedule has obviously gotten tougher, and the Colts have continued to find ways to win.
The Colts came from behind to beat the 49ers. The Colts escaped against the Texans on a missed late field goal. Bill Belichick’s gutsy/stupid coaching helped the Colts beat the Patriots. And Gary Brackett’s interception saved a victory in Baltimore last Sunday.
So now the month ends in Houston, where the Texans are coming off a Monday night loss here against the resurgent Titans. The Texans have to win this game to keep any playoff hopes alive. They want to win this game to prove they are no longer basement dwellers in the AFC South. There is talk in Houston that coach Gary Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith could lose their jobs if the Texans don’t finish with a winning record.
The Texans have only beaten the Colts once in franchise history. That was here in Houston in 2006, before the Colts went on to win the Super Bowl. The Colts high standard of success brings out the best in every oppponent, but especially a division rival like the Texans, who measure themselves against the Colts.
The Colts go for their 20th consecutive regular season win. If the streak is going to end, Houston might be the team to do it. The Colts squeaked by the Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium earlier this month, 20-17. The Texans strong passing attack will have a little more time to operate with Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney watching on TV back in Indianapolis. Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson could be a recurring theme.
Am I picking the Colts to lose? I can’t bring myself to pick against this team. I still think this is the most complete Colts team of the Peyton Manning era. The schedule gets much easier in December. I think this team is headed to the Super Bowl, barring further significant injuries. But perfection might end Sunday.
-Rich Nye, WTHR Sports Reporter
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