The one thing that is by far the biggest threat, as well as the biggest stumbling block for the Houston Texans to return to the postseason, is the Indianapolis Colts.
Andrew Luck is 3-1 against them in his career, and the Colts have never even lost a home game to the Texans. They went 11-5 last season and ran away with the AFC South.
Problem for Houston, is that the Colts got much better, they added Arthur Jones and D’Qwell Jackson on an already talented young defense, and also added Hakeem Nicks to a receiving core that includes the ageless Reggie Wayne, a number one receiver in T.Y. Hilton, and two young promising tight ends, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener.
The Texans cornerbacks and safeties aren’t going to be good enough to slow these guys down, and I’m sure people can’t say they think Ryan Fitzpatrick will play up to Andrew Luck standards.
Keep in mind, Luck is only 24 years old, and only has room to get better. The Texans wide receiving core is no match for Indy’s. DeAndre Hopkins has a lot of upside and a promising future, but even if Andre Johnson returns from sitting out OTA’s and minicamp, can you really expect the 33-year-old to help them beat the Colts?
There are two things Houston has going for them. They have one of the league’s top running backs in Arian Foster,complemented by the addition of Andre Brown. The Colts defense was 26th overall against the rush last season, and the defensive line didn’t add enough talent this offseason to change that significantly.
If Foster returns to form, you can bet that the Texans will do fine in running the ball against the Colts when these teams meet. The other thing is, the Colts have one of the worst offensive lines in the league, where we saw Luck get sacked 32 times last season.
The Texans pass rush is dangerous, as if J.J. Watt wasn’t enough, how can the Colts also protect Luck against the rookie, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus and Brian Cushing? The Texans just may have the best pass rush in years this upcoming season, and the Colts offensive line is going to have a tough time protecting him.
So, can the Texans dethrone the Colts and take their third AFC South title in the last four seasons? Chances are, it’s quite unlikely, given the quarterback situation in Houston. However, if the running game and pass rush take to new, ridiculous heights all season, the Texans can find a way to take it. After all, it may just take eight or nine wins.
But don’t hold your breath just yet, Texans fans. The Colts look miles better than the Texans, on paper anyway.