The Houston Texans (12-3) heading to Indianapolis to take on the Colts (10-5) may be the best game in week 17. The Texans are sputtering with two bad losses sandwiching a victory over the self-same Colts over the last three weeks.
Meanwhile the Colts will be playing under head coach, Chuck Pagano for the first time since he was diagnosed with leukaemia about three months ago. It remains to be seen how much involvement Pagano will have. Chances are - given his weak condition and the success interim head coach, Bruce Arians has had in his absence - Pagano will play more of a figurehead role this week.
Other than Pagano’s return the Colts do not have a whole lot to play for, with their post-season seeding already sealed. Still they’d like to play spoiler to the Texans’ attempt to become the AFC’s top seed.
This season the Colts are 9-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less. They will be looking to keep the Texans within touching distance heading into the fourth quarter in order to make it 10-1.
Texans’ star running-back, Arian Foster experienced an irregular heartbeat in last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. As concerning as that sounds, Foster’s arrhythmia is apparently minor and he has been cleared to play against the Colts.
Indianapolis’s defence is terrible, both against the run and the pass. Chances are Foster is in for a big game.If he can produce one,, the Texans will be well on their way to the win. However, if arrhythmia flares up again, the Texans will definitely pull him from the game as a precaution.
In that case, it will be down to quaterback, Matt Schaub to shoulder the load. Receiver, Andre Johnson has already had a monster season. Despite being 31, he needs 16 reception and just about 120 yards to post his best season ever. The Texans’ strategy of limiting his touches earlier in the season has paid dividends and Johnson enters the post-season healthier than he has been in quite a while.
The Texans are seven point favourites for the match. As mentioned earlier, Arians is likely to be the main strategist behind this week. But it will be interesting to see what Pagano’s return means for the team in the coming weeks. Pagano was 1-2 before being forced to bow out. Arians may not be a Colt next year as head-coach turnover leads to opportunities elsewhere for his own command.
Almost all of the USA will get the Texans - Colts game. Only the mid-Atlantic seaboard, inland as far as Tennessee will not. It will be shown on CBS at 1 PM EST. For viewers that cannot see it, try NFL Gamepass or streaming sites.
Where To Watch Online: Texans vs. Colts