NFL Week 5: Houston Texans – Indianapolis Colts Preview and Picks

Imagine a Colts’ offense led by Josh Johnson… Wait, who? That’s right, you read it right… no Andrew Luck and no 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck, just a quarterback re-signed in desperation on Wednesday after being released on Monday. This is no joke either, it could virtually happen given the state of Indianapolis NFL franchise.

The Colts are hours away from their fifth game of the 2015 season, against the Houston Texans and the injuries are piling up. Can they leave Texas with a new, hard-fought victory? Let’s find out.

Will Andrew Luck Play on Thursday Night Football?

The good news is that Luck traveled to Houston with the team. Hasselbeck is there too. Only three were left behind: linebackers Jerrell Freeman and Bjorn Werner and running back Tyler Varga. The bad news is that both Luck and Hasselbeck are questionable for tonight’s game. According to several reports, Luck still had a limited role in practice as he tries to get ready for the Texans. Moreover, Hasselbeck missed Tuesday practice due to an illness.

However, there are even better news if we listen to the Colts’ side. Luck said two days ago that he was preparing to start and to play although he missed Sunday’s action (noteworthy: it was his first pro game missed of his NFL career). His backup had… well his back being optimistic about Luck’s chances. Heck, even Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien believes the star from Indianapolis will play tonight. He might very well do that but don’t expect to play at a high level. Even if he does play, his shoulder isn’t fully healed and that could affect his passing and his timing. And remember, his first three games weren’t at all that good. Just take a look at this fact:

 

How Luck(y) do you feel now?

Will Arian Foster Have A Big TNF?

The Houston Texans are 1-3 and seem ready to leave the awful Sunday performance behind them. NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt called Houston’s game against the Atlanta Falcons ‘pitiful’ while coach O’Brien took all responsibility for the blowout. Yet, he doesn’t plan to make changes when it comes to the quarterback position. Ryan Mallett will start the game, not Brian Hoyer. O’Brien isn’t worried about Mallett, he is more focused to get his star running back going. Arian Foster had a tough 2015 debut last week rushing eight times for just ten yards. He also had a strange fumble:

But let’s give him the benefit of a doubt. He DID miss most of the preseason and the first couple of weeks of the 2015 NFL season because of a groin injury. “That’s the thing about offense. It has to be a well-oiled machine and it takes time to develop and you have a short amount of time to do that,” he said on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Against the Colts he will be more than ready to pressure the defense and help Mallett. Remember, Foster is a four-time Pro Bowl player with a career average of 4.5 rushing yards per game and a total of 53 rushing touchdowns. Will he show up tonight? Most likely.

NFL Prediction: Texans -2.5

Even with Luck on the field, Indianapolis will have a very tough time handling the Texans. The right shoulder will definitely limit his throwing abilityand that could prove costly for the Colts. At the other end, the Texans will want to prove that what happened on Sunday against the Falcons was a mere mistake. If Foster returns to his former self and Mallett doesn’t make huge mistakes, then Houston should seal the victory.

By: Florian Gheorghe

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