NFL Thursday Night: Texans look to lasso Colts

Can the Houston offense keep the high-flying Indianapolis offense off the field?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens at Lucas Oil Stadium, Oct 5, 2014, in Indianapolis, Ind.

After a few weeks of what turned out to be network ratings nightmares – in other words, one-sided blowouts – CBS and the NFL Network have to feel good about the AFC South matchup they'll feature on Thursday Night Football. The Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, both 3-2, will take the field in Houston for the division's outright lead.

The Colts come into the contest with the best passing attack, yardage-wise, in the NFL. They average almost 322 yards per game through the air. Houston's defensive end extraordinaire J.J. Watt will get lots of attention from the Indianapolis offensive line trying to protect quarterback Andrew Luck, who has thrown for the most yards so far this season in the National Football League. Colt wide receivers Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton are both in the top 10 list of NFL pass catchers this year, averaging over 12 yards gained on each reception.

Indianapolis also has a pair of productive running backs, Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw, who have combined to rush for nearly 500 yards through the season's first five games.

While the Colts are the highest-scoring team in the NFL, interestingly enough, the Houston defense has allowed fewer points scored than the Colts, 87 to 108.

What could help the Texans counter the Colts would be a big game from running back Arian Foster. He ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. Foster on the field for Houston keeps Luck and the Colts offense off of it. If the Houston offensive line can protect him, Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson to throw to. Second-year wideout Deandre Hopkins is developing into a viable second option in the Texans passing game.

You can watch the Colts take on the Texans Thursday night on CBS and the NFL Network, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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