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Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts: Week 4: Three things to watch

Calvin Crawford

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The Houston Texans will take on the Indianapolis Colts for the first time this season in their Week 4 matchup. What are the three most important things to watch? Take a look at the matchups, fantasy outlook and gambling advice.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
MyBookie line – Texans +1.5
Sunday, Sep. 30 at noon on CBS

The Houston Texans have an 0-3 to start this season and are back on the road this week, facing divisional rival Indianapolis Colts for the 1st time in 2018. The Texans went 0-2 last season against the Colts, with both games coming post-Deshaun Watson injury and without Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck as well.

The Colts are 1-2 on the season, having defeated the Washington Redskins in Week 2 and losing to the Cincinnati Bengals Week 1 and the Philadelphia Eagles last week. With the Tennessee Titans beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 9-6 last week, the AFC South is still pretty wide open. Divisional games are always a must-win, so let’s take a look at matchups, fantasy outlook and gambling advice for this Week 4 contest.

Matchups to watch for

Colts Front 7 vs. the Texans’ offensive line

With so many questions and doubts about this offensive line, Deshaun Watson’s drop-off, and Bill O’Brien’s play-calling, the reality is every football game starts up front. The Indianapolis Colts gave the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles a run for their money last week and their battle was in the trenches.

The Eagles’ offensive line is on a different planet when compared to the Texans’ and the Colts kept them busy all game long. Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard has the 4th most tackles all-time in the first three games to start a career, up there with names like Ray Lewis and Zach Thomas. Last week against the Eagles, Leonard had five tackles-for-loss and two sacks with 13 overall tackles to boot. Another young Colts’ linebacker, Anthony Walker, was also solid playing next to Leonard with nine tackles and an interception.

Colts’ defensive tackle Margus Hunt leads the league in tackles-for-loss with eight and 2nd in the league is Leonard with six. That’s right — the league leaders in tackles-for-loss both play for the Indianapolis Colts. To round out this matchup, Colts defensive end Kemoko Turray had 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hits on the Eagles’ Carson Wentz last week. With Martinas Rankin still going through growing pains and Julie’n Davenport being the lone citizen of False Start City, the Texans will be playing from behind the chains once again and this Colts defense will make them pay.

Colts’ secondary vs. DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller

The Texans and Colts are both in the Top 10 youngest teams in the NFL with an average age of 25.4 each and one of the bright spots for this Colts team is their secondary. The Colts have given up the fourth fewest plays in the league of 20 yards or more; Will Fuller has averaged 16 yards per catch this season as he has become more of a vertical threat and DeAndre Hopkins has averaged 13 yards per catch being a threat everywhere on the field. Pro Football Focus has Colts’ safety Matthias Farley ranked as the No. 6 safety and cornerback Pierre Desir as the No. 8 cornerback in the whole league, respectively, so we’ll see who gets the best of who this Sunday.

Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck

Obviously, these guys will not be on the field at the same time but both are coming back from injuries. They’ll looking to get their rhythm and timing back with their receivers. If you look at Watson statistically or from a fantasy standpoint, you would think that nothing is wrong and it’s business as usual. But he has started the season with three straight games of an interception in the end zone, lost head-to-head against Blaine Gabbert and doesn’t seem to start playing until the second half.

Andrew Luck has had struggles coming back from his shoulder injury as well, as the Colts’ passing attack has basically become one dimensional; they only average 7.8 YPC. Their offense even brought in backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett to throw the game-ending Hail Mary last week, which makes you think Luck physically cannot throw the ball downfield yet. If the Texans can play a complete game for 60 minutes and limit their mistakes/penalties, that’s a big if because it has not happened yet, then they have a chance of winning this game.

Fantasy outlook

Indianapolis Colts: T.Y. Hilton is the team leader in catches and targets, however Houston has a Top 10 defense in terms of yards allowed to wide receivers. But the defense has not shown up in the 1st half of a game yet this season which may all Hilton needs to make an impact. Adam Vinatieri has also been reliable this season, with at least 10 points in two out of three games so far, and the Texans have given up an average of about nine fantasy points to kickers so far this season.

Houston: Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller. Watson has been reliable in the fantasy world the past two weeks, with back to back games of 23+ points; Hopkins has yet to underperform and is proving yet again to be matchup-proof, and Fuller has had a touchdown in every game played with Watson.

Gambling advice

Houston is the underdog in this game, which should be no surprise as they are winless and on the road; the line is Indianapolis -1.5. I have bet on each Texans game this year, Weeks 1 and 2 against the spread and last week on the money line.

They are 0-3 ATS, having been favored the last two weeks and obviously losing both games. They just come out too slow to give themselves a chance to win and I really don’t feel like getting fooled for a 4th time. Until they change the record on this season, I am staying away from betting on them. I guess if you feel like winning some money, bet against them vs. the spread because they have yet to cover this season.

As I said in the introduction, this division is still open to each team for the taking. Miraculously, it is still not a lost season for the Texans. There’s no better time for one to get their first win over a divisional opponent as the Colts would also move a game back in the standings. Houston just has to stop beating themselves with situations like 1st-and-goal from the 25 because of penalties. They just need to play a complete game and then we’ll see what the scoreboard says at the end of four quarters.

These are definitely the three things you need to know about this matchup — how do you feel?  Sound off in the comments section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

I graduated from Texas Tech University in the Spring of 2016 with a degree in Sport Management, as in I had no idea what I wanted to do but wanted to be around sports. I’ve always have had a rooting interest in the Texans as they have been secretly consistent these past few years, making the playoffs four times in seven seasons since I was a freshman in college in 2011. I am currently a student at Texas Chiropractic College getting my doctorate in chiropractic, and my medical background has been very helpful covering the NFL and the Texans.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Brian K. Patterson

Brian and Robert say goodbye to Locked on Texans.  After 540 episodes, we bid a tearful farewell to Houston Texans faithful, reminisce about our tenure and share some final thoughts on the Houston Texans future.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans off season is here and there’s a lot of work to do to prep this team for 2019. Who are the top free agents that the team should go after? Let’s take a look at the players who would make an impact.

The Houston Texans were one of the NFL’s better success stories this season after starting the season 0-3. J.J. Watt returned as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players, while free agent signee Tyrann Mathieu was a playmaker at the safety position. Third-round pick Justin Reid was one of the league’s best rookies and a starter in the Texans’ secondary for years to come.

DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson maintained their solid connection from last year as the former was named to his second consecutive first team All-Pro. Despite being sacked a league high 62 times, Watson passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Texans to a 11-5 record and the AFC South division title. Lamar Miller was only 27 yards from his third 1,000+ yard season, despite missing two games because of injuries.

While the offense did put up strong numbers, the offensive line was a liability throughout the season as Watson was constantly under pressure, while Miller and the rest of the Texan running backs had few running lanes. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson was signed to fix those problems but he broke his ankle in the season opener and did not play for the rest of the season. He is a free agent now and so is Kendall Lamm, the man who replaced Henderson on the offensive line.

Julie’n Davenport struggled at left tackle and Martinas Rankin has not shown enough to yet to be a contributor on the offensive line. While Jadeveon Clowney and Mathieu are both free agents who need to be brought back, improving the offensive line is the team’s biggest priority in the off season. The Texans need to address the offensive line in both free agency and the draft as the unit struggled to protect Watson.

In regard to bringing in help via free agency, Daryl Williams missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury but he was a second team All-Pro in 2017 and is the top tackle available.

His value might not as high because of the shoulder injury but Williams is one of the league’s better tackles and the Texans need to get him in free agency to bolster their offensive line. Williams is a mauler that should help create running lanes for Miller, while keeping Watson upright in the pocket. If the Texans are unable to sign him, Ja’Wuan James and Roger Saffold are the next best offensive linemen available in free agency and both players should be targeted by the Texans.

An upgrade in the secondary is also needed as Shareece Wright struggled in coverage, while Kayvon Webster and Aaron Colvin battled to stay healthy. Kareem Jackson had a great year for the Texans but is another Texans’ free agent that has to be re-signed.

Ronald Darby and Lamarcus Joyner are the best players available in free agency that can cover receivers in the slot and both players should be targeted by Bill O’Brien.

The Texans need to address their own free agents first as Clowney, Mathieu and Jackson were all vital parts to the team’s success in 2018.

What do you think?  Feel free to comment in the section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What are the Houston Texans biggest weaknesses going into the 2019 off season?  Rob and Brian bring on State of the Texans’ BigRon to discuss what needs to be done to fix a team that has tons of potential to be dominant.  What’s the best way to improve the offensive line?  Is Julién Davenport still worth developing and what should we expect to see in additional development?

How about the thought of shifting Greg Mancz to center and Nick Martin to guard?  The trio also discusses the future of Whitney Mercilus on the roster as well as certain defensive lineman not getting enough playing time.  What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the best way for the Houston Texans to fix the running backs position for the 2019 season?  They certainly can do better than bringing back Alfred Blue.  Rob and Brian talk about what the team needs to do and gives their top free agent running backs to help this offense flourish.  Is bringing in Le’Veon Bell a possibility?  Can the Houston Texans get the back they want in this season’s draft?

The duo discusses that plus gives their thoughts of Indianapolis Colts’ firing offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and the interesting back story that likely factored into the move.  Plus, Gary Kubiak finds a new job in the NFL.   What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

 

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