Behind Enemy Lines: 6 questions with Texans Wire

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The Indianapolis Colts (1-4) are set to host the Houston Texans (1-4) at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday for a Week 6 matchup.

Before this divisional bout begins, we caught up with Mark Lane, managing editor for our friends over at Texans Wire, to get the scoop on the AFC South rival.

From Deshaun Watson to some under-the-radar players, here are our six questions with Texans Wire as we go behind enemy lines:

What is the status of Tyrod Taylor this week? Is there a chance he plays?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Lane: No chance. He is still on injured reserve. The Texans don’t anticipate Taylor being ready to come back for Week 6. However, coach David Culley did state the former Pro Bowler will be the Texans’ starting quarterback when he returns from his hamstring injury as he gives the team their best chance to win. The Texans’ offense has stalled without him in there, save for last week when Mills had a coming out party against the New England Patriots.

Despite their thin roster, the Texans were competitive with the Patriots in Week 5. What do they need to do in order to reciprocate that formula?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

ML: Houston did a great job of winning the turnover battle. Again, Mills provided a spark at quarterback. They may have been playing catchup the entire game had the passing game not opened up. What doomed Houston was their inability to establish the run game and also their penchant for penalties. Maybe if they had a quarterback under center with the quickness and speed to supplement the run game, it wouldn’t be an issue. The Texans weren’t able to burn clock. They also had some questionable coaching decisions, like kicking a 56-yard field goal despite leading by seven in the third quarter.

Is there a chance David Culley is one-and-done or is the organization taking a long-term approach?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

ML: Both. I think he is keeping the seat warm for the right candidate. Does that guy emerge after the 2021 season or the 2022 season? Is Tim Kelly, the offensive coordinator, actually the guy? General manager Nick Caserio brought in Culley and gave him a chance because he’s a really upbeat guy that thinks he can take on Hell with a squirt gun, and it takes that type of mentality to really work through the issues the Texans are facing on and off the field.

We have to ask. What’s the latest news, if there is any, on Deshaun Watson?

Deshaun Watson Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

ML: The Texans are holding forth with their king’s ransom of draft picks. Miami appears to be the favorite destination. Carolina may have entered the chat now that Sam Darnold is looking like a former New York Jets first-round pick who was traded to another team. There won’t be any real news until around Nov. 2, the trade deadline.

Which Texans are flying under the radar but deserve more love?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

ML: Safety Lonnie Johnson is really coming along with two interceptions in as many games, tied with Justin Reid for the most on the team. Tight end Pharaoh Brown is a guy that is really starting to come into his own after being a practice-squadder his whole career. See if the Colts offensive line has trouble with rookie sixth-round defensive tackle Roy Lopez. The former New Mexico State and Arizona product has managed to find his way into opposing backfields lately. His dad is also a high school football coach in Arizona and will call him after games critiquing his film.

Final score, predictions?

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

ML: Houston gets killed on the road this year, and it might have something to do with their rookie quarterback. The game will be indoors and not the cold rain on the shores or Lake Erie. The run game has failed to get going for Houston, and it puts too much pressure on Mills, a burden he can’t handle at this point in his career. It will be a slow death by a thousand cuts, but Indianapolis will prevail 26-13.

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