Surging Texans Host Colts In Sunday NFL Football Action

The Houston Texans are most definitely the hottest team in the National Football League as we head into Week 14 action. They’ve won 9 straight games after starting the season 0-3. Even with that impressive victory streak there are still plenty of questions about how good of a team they actually are. Obviously, a team can only play the games that are in front of them but it could very well be a mistake to conflate the Texans’ nine game streak as being indicative of a superior team.

Until this past Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts were also among the league’s ‘hottest teams’ having won five straight games. That was until they had the bad fortune to face a Jacksonville defense looking to make a statement about their ability even as the rest of the Jaguars bumbled around them. The Colts’ 6-0 loss was definitely an impressive defensive statement but Indy and Andrew Luck should have a much easier time this week. Houston’s total defense doesn’t look to bad ranked #10 allowing 341.5 yards per game against. The problem is their #18 ranked pass defense which allows 243.8 yards per game.

Horse racing enthusiasts are fond of throwing out an aberrant performance during their handicapping process. The thinking is that every athlete—human or equine—is going to hit a few ‘flat spots’ that aren’t indicative of their actual ability. The Colts hit their ‘flat spot’ last weekend against Jacksonville but before that had been one of the most productive offenses in the league during the previous two months of the NFL season. Throw out Sunday’s 6-0 loss to the Jaguars and look at Indianapolis’ previous eight games during which they put up an average of 33 PPG. Considering that the NFL’s PPG leader averages 37 PPG (Kansas City) that would put the Colts in the fourth overall position. And Houston? They’re down at #12 with a pedestrian 25.2 PPG. Andrew Luck threw three or more touchdown passes in every game during that aforementioned streaks.

Interestingly, the Texans’ nine game streak began on the road against Indianapolis where they beat the Colts 37-34 in overtime. That loss was due more to a boneheaded coaching decision by Indy’s Frank Reich than any type of Houston superiority. Reich decided to go for a fourth down conversion in Colts’ territory in the final minute of play. The Texans took over on downs in great field position and won the game on a field goal as time expired. With any type of conservative play call that games ends in a tie. After the win over the Colts, Houston played seven of their subsequent eight games against opponents that are currently at .500 or below. Four of their wins in this streak were by a field goal or less with another win coming at home over the lowly Bills by a touchdown. Not exactly a dominant run by Houston.

The Texans are on a 4-8-1 run against the spread as favorites of -3 or more points during the last three years. They’ve been a particularly bad ‘investment’ late in the season with only two pointspread covers in 10 December games over the past three seasons. Houston has to be happy about where they’re at which makes them a complacent favorite. They might also come into this game emotionally drained after attending a memorial service for team founder and owner Bob McNair on Friday afternoon. Since the current NFL betting odds have the Texans installed as a 4 point favorite we’ll gladly take more than a field goal with a Colts team that has an excellent chance of pulling off the outright victory.



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