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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15 SD at DEN (THU) CIN at PIT NE at MIA SEA at NYG
ARI at TEN GB at DAL NO at STL SF at TB
BUF at JAC HOU at IND NYJ at CAR WAS at ATL
*UPDATED CHI at CLE KC at OAK PHI at MIN BAL at DET (MON)

Prediction: HOU 20, IND 24 (Line: IND by 6)

Update: LaVon Brazill is questionable to play and will be a game time decision. If he doesn't play, it will benefit Da'Rick Rogers. DeAndre Hopkins and Garrett Graham are both considered questionable. Hopkins is likely to play and had limited work in every practice this week. Graham is much less likely to play since he was never able to practice due to his hamstring.

The 2-11 Texans are on an 11 game losing streak and now sport an interim head coach with Wade Phillips. The 8-5 Colts have already clinched the AFC South and really have no chance at a first round bye regardless of the next three weeks. This is a replay of week nine when the Colts won 27-24 in Houston.

1 @SD 31-28 10 @ARI 24-27
2 TEN 30-24 11 OAK 23-28
3 @BAL 9-30 12 JAC 6-13
4 SEA 20-23 13 NE 31-34
5 @SF 3-34 14 @JAC 20-27
6 STL 13-38 15 @IND -
7 @KC 16-17 16 DEN -
8 BYE WEEK 17 @TEN -
9 IND 24-27 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU @ IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 20,1 230,1
QB Case Keenum 10,1 200,1
WR DeAndre Hopkins 4-50
WR Andre Johnson 6-100,1
TE Garrett Graham
PK Randy Bullock 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Teams respond differently when they lose a head coach. Some actually get markedly better while others just dwell in the futility that got their coach fired in the first place. These final games for the Texans won't see them favored and are unlikely to be wins. The only thing in the favor of the Texans anymore is that their games tend to be close because teams play down to their level knowing they can always pull out a win.

QUARTERBACKS: Case Keenum's best game was when he passed for 350 yards and three touchdowns on the Colts back in week nine in only his second start. Keenum has gone cold since with plenty of game tape to watch for defenses. He;s only passed for one touchdown over the last three weeks and struggled to top 200 passing yards.

RUNNING BACKS: Ben Tate chased away Dennis Johnson from the backfield but he's only scored in two games this year and both were at home. On the road he has yet to run for more than 56 yards and his role as a receiver has disappeared in recent weeks. Tate ran for 81 yards on 22 carries when the Colts visited.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Andre Johnson had his best game of the year - make that his career - when he reeled in nine passes for 229 yards and three scores in the Colts in week nine. He's topped 100 yards three times since though he threw in a 36-yard stinker against the Jaguars. Johnson only scored in two games all year. DeAndre Hopkins turned in three catches for 54 yards in the previous loss to the Colts and has been catching a long pass in each of the last two games that ended with more than 75 yards in each. Keshawn Martin scored last week but that is his only game with more than 30 yards or a score.

TIGHT ENDS: Garrett Graham only gained 46 yards on four catches versus the Colts this year and only shows up in games when the opponent has a very weak secondary. He was a nonfactor in the first meeting with the Colts.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Keenum enjoyed a big game versus the Colts last time but he has greatly cooled and the Colts at home are far better against the pass anyway. More than one touchdown would be a big success this week and Andre Johnson makes the only reasonable start here besides Tate who should manage moderate yardage. This is the first week without a head coach and a road game as well. Makes it harder to rely on.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 23 19 18 6 25 27
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 19 9 25 4 17 9

 

1 OAK 21-17 10 STL 8-38
2 MIA 20-24 11 @TEN 30-27
3 @SF 27-7 12 @ARI 11-40
4 @JAC 37-3 13 TEN 22-14
5 SEA 34-28 14 @CIN 28-42
6 @SD 9-19 15 HOU -
7 DEN 39-33 16 @KC -
8 BYE WEEK 17 JAC -
9 @HOU 27-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 250,2
RB Trent Richardson 20 3-20
WR T.Y. Hilton 5-70,1
WR Hakeem Nicks 5-60
WR Da'Rick Rogers 5-70
TE Coby Fleener 3-50
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Colts already clinched the AFC South but are three games back from a possible first round bye so they have three weeks to play and yet not have it matter. Two of those are home games against the Texans and Jaguars who already were beaten when they hosted the matchup this year. No reason yet to expect resting of players but it is bothersome that the Colts do not have any added motivation to win games.

QUARTERBACKS: Andrew Luck finally turned around his low scoring trend since Reggie Wayne left when he passed for 326 yards and four touchdowns in Cincinnati. Luck only threw for one score in the previous three weeks but passed for 271 yards and three touchdowns in Houston after Wayne was gone.

RUNNING BACKS: The backfield is no clearer now. Donald Brown was given the start and played well with scores in both of the meetings with the Titans but last week only carried four times for 11 yards while Trent Richardson ran six times for 20 yards and added 68 yards on five catches - clearly a season high. The previous matchup with the Texans saw Brown run for 49 yards on only six carries and Richardson gain 20 yards on eight runs. The only reliable factor here is that both are going to play and neither are likely to matter.

WIDE RECEIVERS: T.Y Hilton is a great #2 wideout but since becoming the primary he has disappeared. After posting four 100 yard games this year, Hilton is the main focus of the secondary and hasn't topped 50 yards in a game for the last four weeks. His best game of the year was when he caught seven passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns in Houston. He had 130 yards the next week against the Rams. He did almost nothing since. Da 'Rick Rogers had his first playing time in the NFL and the noted head-case and career neer-do-well blew up for six catches for 107 yards and two scores while replacing the always ineffective Darrius Heyward-Bey. Rogers was a highly recruited wideout out of high school who played two years at Tennessee before being suspended indefinitely for unexplained reasons (though Rogers admits to three failed drug tests). He's a classic headcase problem child with great skills in a 6-3, 207 pound frame. You can only consider his debut as a fluke but it was a great way to start.

TIGHT ENDS: Coby Fleener stepped up after Wayne was gone but comes off a 31-yard effort in Cincinnati. He was producing around 50 yards per week for the previous month and scored once when in Arizona. He is still too inconsistent to merit a fantasy start. He gained 64 yards on three receptions in Houston.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: How this will go down depends on what the Texans are like given their head coach firing and general disarray. Luck is a safe start again and already had good success against the Texans without Reggie Wayne on the field. None of the Colts make for more than a moderate play this week but there is upside for Luck, Hilton, Brown and maybe even Rogers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 10 18 23 18 6 25
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 10 20 4 17 19 31

WEEK 15 SD at DEN (THU) CIN at PIT NE at MIA SEA at NYG
ARI at TEN GB at DAL NO at STL SF at TB
BUF at JAC HOU at IND NYJ at CAR WAS at ATL
*UPDATED CHI at CLE KC at OAK PHI at MIN BAL at DET (MON)


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