Game Scout: Texans at Colts

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Houston Texans (2-11) at Indianapolis Colts (8-5)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots
*Keys to the game: The Colts have to figure out a way to execute better offensively with a current six-game swoon without a touchdown in the first half. The Texans blew an 18-point lead to QB Andrew Luck and the Colts on Nov. 3, Indianapolis' first game without WR Reggie Wayne. The passing game is still scrapping for a reliable weapon other than T.Y. Hilton, the speed receiver who caught three TD passes in the last meeting. More than that, Luck remains the best runner on the roster, which allows interim Texans head coach Wade Phillips to keep the pocket under heat from a barrage of blitzes. QB Case Keenum is in a three-game audition for his future role with the franchise. Keenum has gone timid at times after entering the lineup with a big-play-or-bust vision field. The Colts and OLB Robert Mathis (15.5 sacks) will try to shake him up. Keenum is best when RB Ben Tate works up a good lather in the first quarter to take the focus of the safeties away from WR Andre Johnson.
*Matchup to watch - Colts WR Da'Rick Rogers vs. Texans CB Kareem Jackson: Rogers has freakish size and speed at 6-3, 215, and had six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns last week. The former undrafted rookie is an unknown to Houston's secondary.
*Player spotlight - Texans DE J.J. Watt: The attention paid Watt is reduced by Houston's lousy record, but he leads all NFL defensive linemen with 41 hits on the quarterback and is tied for first with 17 tackles for loss. The Colts used two and sometimes three blockers to hold him out of the backfield last month.
*Fast facts: The Texans have won only three of the past 13 meetings. ... Luck was sacked 11 times over three previous meetings.
Houston drops to 0-12 all-time in Indianapolis and the 2013 winless streak climbs to a miserable 12 games as Andrew Luck makes the plays that count again in the second half.
*Our pick: Colts 23-17

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