Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 07, 2018 at 6:34 pm.


–OUT: TE Mo Alie-Cox (calf), WR Dontrelle Inman (shoulder), C Ryan Kelly (knee), S Mike Mitchell (calf)

–QUESTIONABLE: DL Denico Autry (back), WR T.Y. Hilton (shoulder), DT Margus Hunt (knee), CB Chris Milton (hamstring), CB Nate Hairston (ankle)

–OUT: C/G Zach Fulton (hand)

–QUESTIONABLE: WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), CB Johnathan Joseph (shoulder), LB Brennan Scarlett (ankle)


–DE J.J. Watt continues to deal with a knee issue that kept him limited all of last week and made him a game-time decision for last Sunday’s game. Watt started the week limited once again and expectations are that he will be ready to go Sunday.

–RB D’Onta Foreman was a full participant in practice after being activated from the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Foreman is recovering from an Achilles injury from last season but seeing him as full practice with no limitations is a good development for Foreman and the Texans.

–CB Aaron Colvin remains practicing in a full capacity after coming back from an ankle injury he suffered in Week 4. It is the second week in a row of full work for the veteran cornerback.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: CB Johnathan Joseph. In 13 games against the Texans, Colts WR T.Y. Hilton has 67 receptions for 1,246 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 18.6 yards per reception. It will be Joseph’s primary job to cover Hilton and try to slow him. Joseph has struggled with covering Hilton and it is clear he struggles with speed, which Hilton possesses. If the Texans can control Hilton, it starts with Joseph.

GAME PLAN: The running game remains the bread and butter for the Texans and they currently rank No. 3 in the NFL rushing for 140.8 yards a game. Lead by Lamar Miller and his 876 rushing yards and Alfred Blue’s 436 rushing yards, the Texans continue to dominate up front. The rushing game has opened up bigger and better opportunities for Deshaun Watson in the play-action passing game. It all starts with the Texans rushing game this Sunday.

The Texans have to continue to rush the passer with a purpose and it starts with getting to quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts have continued to improve their pass protection which will be a test for the Texans top pass rushers defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebackers Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus. The Colts rank first in the NFL only giving up a sack every 2.83 percent of pass attempts. Add in the big-play capability and the Texans kryptonite, Colts wide receiver T.Y Hilton, the defense has to find a way to slow him from making big plays.

–Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney vs Colts G Quenton Nelson. The Texans like moving around Clowney to rush the passer to get either DE J.J. Watt or OLB Whitney Mercilus matched up one-on-one on the outside. Clowney will draw Nelson’s attention and being able to force pressure on Colts QB Andrew Luck from the interior is the focus of the Texans front. Nelson had a rough game to start the season, but he has started to look like the top pick he was coming out of Notre Dame.

–Texans RB Lamar Miller vs. Colts ILB Darius Leonard. Leonard remains one of the top linebackers in the game even as a rookie and put his style of play in the two teams’ first matchup in Week 4. Miller, who has been a breath of fresh air rushing for 100 yards in four of the past six games, will require him to find ways to avoid Leonard. Either by breaking tackles or putting the moves on Leonard, Miller has to get going for the Texans to stick with their game plan that has been working well during the win streak.