TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 15: Indianapolis Colts At Houston Texans

Colts
Texans
Indianapolis Colts v New York Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Quarterback
Andrew Luck’s numbers don’t tell the full story for this rookie star. While he has thrown a ton of interceptions, he has shown solid leadership ability and he gives the Colts the talent to comeback from deficits and win games. Luck has arm strength, a quick release, excellent understanding of how the defense is going to try to stop him and superb athletic ability.
Matt Schaub is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league. He often takes on the role of game manager, but when he needs to throw the ball downfield, he has the arm strength, accuracy and quick release to get the job done on a nearly every-game basis. Schaub does not have a charismatic personality, but his teammates respond well to his leadership.
Offense
Injuries have hurt the Colts’ running game in recent weeks. Donald Brown could not play in the Week 14 game vs. the Titans due to an ankle injury, while Vick Ballard responded with 94 rushing yards. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne is having a superb year and has caught 94 passes for 1,220 yards and four touchdowns. Rookie T.Y. Hilton has the speed to make big plays downfield.
Winner Arian Foster is not as powerful as Adrian Peterson or as quick as Ray Rice, but he just may be the best all-around player in the league. Foster is a power back with the speed to get around the corner. He is also a super receiver and a solid blocker. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is a gamebreaker who commands attention and may have to be double-teamed.
Defense
The Colts don’t have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but they make up for it with aggressiveness and decent positioning. The Colts rank 20th overall on defense and that’s an improvement over last year’s showing when they were 25th overall. The Colts will need a huge game from pass rusher Robert Mathis (7.0 sacks) if they are going to challenge the Texans.
Winner The Texans may just be in a mood to impress their home fans by crushing the Colts in order to dissipate their confidence. Defensive end J.J. Watt should be in a position to punish Luck by hammering him in the pocket and deflecting his passes. Strong safety Glover Quin is a big-time hitter and he also excels at breaking up passes.
Special Teams
Winner Adam Vinatieri made his reputation as a late-season kicker, and this is certainly the time of year for him to excel. He has only made 23-of-30 FG attempts this season, but he has demonstrated throughout his career that he can make big kicks when it matters most. Hilton is an explosive punt returner who can flip the field with his speed.
The Texans have struggled with their coverage teams throughout the season. They have given up punt and kickoff returns for touchdowns. Placekicker has struggled on field goals 40 yards or longer, but he is very dependable on shorter kicks.

The Winner Is

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Winner Texans
2 out of 4

This appears to be the kind of game where Luck is reminded that he is still a rookie. The Texans have Super Bowl aspirations and they should be able to smack around a team that wants to get to that level. The Colts have overachieved, but they will have a hard time competing on even terms with the Texans for a full 60 minutes.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  2. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

New Podcast Network
Learn How
Get The All New CBS Local App

Listen Live