Texans at Colts: Final Thoughts and Score Prediction
The Texans face their first win-or-go-home game under DeMeco Ryans
The Houston Texans have a chance to make the playoffs tonight. That’s an astounding sentence for me to type and for you to read.
Just a year ago this same matchup in the same stadium was for draft positioning. This year it is for playoff seeding.
It is the most meaningful game since 2019, when the Texans last made the playoffs. DeMeco Ryans and C.J. Stroud have led this team to an amusing point of the season that many thought, at best, was a 2024 season situation.
This is also an in-season opportunity for Ryans and Stroud. I know I don’t care much about the last game, but the Colts sweeping you and keeping you out of the playoffs wouldn’t feel great. The Colts aren’t a one-hit wonder either. They’re not going anywhere, and neither seemingly are the Texans. Let’s see who can start the quest to come out on top.
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Shane Steichen has cobbled it together with a backup quarterback, a rotating running back room, and some other challenges. He’s the offensive genius who has counted DeMeco Ryans and the defensive coach’s prowess to slow down offenses. It happened earlier this year. It happened when Steichen was in Philidelphia and Ryans called the defense in San Francisco.
Gardner Minshew can’t outplay C.J. Stroud. I suppose he can, but he shouldn’t. Stroud’s propensity to be amazing in big games and Minshew’s lack of experience in those games should bode well for the rookie signal caller of the Texans. I believe Stroud will use his legs. I believe he will attack the defense as well as he has all season. What will Minshew bring to the table? I suppose the defense answers that question for the Texans. It likely isn’t as much as what Stroud will produce.
As much as this is about quarterbacks and head coaches, there’s plenty of other talent on this field. All the expected studs need to play that way for either team to win. One mistake might finish the loser and be the last bit for the winner. It’s a great matchup between two teams I believe in more than the Jaguars who likely will win the division.
Winning last season was unexpected, and it worked out. A repeat of recent history would be welcomed and set a benchmark for a great start to the DeMeco Ryans era.
I believe the Texans will win 23-20. The kickers will end up being a big deal as the defenses do enough to force some field goals. Jonathan Taylor should get going, but I don’t believe he will dominate. Devin Singletary has done enough on the ground recently, and C.J. Stroud will have to make use of all of his weapons to put some points up. A Colts turnover is coming, I can feel it. The Texans take advantage and get the win and head to the playoffs.
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