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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: IND 24, HOU 23

The Colts may not be crushing opponents, but they have won all ten games this year and while the last four wins were by four points or less and usually involved a comeback, the end result was always the same. It is hard to bet against "always". The Texans have fallen to 5-5 and have lost their last two games which coincidentally includes the Titans and the Colts who won 20-17 when the Texans visited three weeks ago before their bye week. Notable fact, the Texans have only beaten the Colts once in franchise history three years ago.

Indianapolis Colts(10-0)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 JAC 14-12 -6.5 44.5
2 @MIA 27-23 -3 42
3 @ARI 31-10 +2.5 48
4 SEA 34-17 -10 43.5
5 @TEN 31-9 -3.5 46.5
6 BYE - - -
7 @STL 42-6 -14 45
8 SF 18-14 -13 45
9 HOU 20-17 -9 48
10 NE 35-34 -1 48
11 @BAL 17-15 -1 44
12 @HOU - -3.5 48
13 TEN - - -
14 DEN - - -
15 @JAC - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @BUF - - -
IND at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     300,2
RB Joseph Addai 60,1 30  
TE Dallas Clark   60,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   90,1  
WR Austin Collie   30  
WR Pierre Garcon   70  
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Colts are redefining "good enough" lately but it has made for some great late game drama. It is plenty evident that the winning streak is wearing heavily on the Colts and unlike the Saints in the NFC, there is no other team remotely close in the conference that has 7-3 as the next best mark. The Colts will slow towards the end most likely but until then, they keep waking up at the wheel right before they swerve off the road.

Quarterback: If Peyton Manning is on your waiver wire, expect him to be gone soon since he has thrown for 21 touchdowns and had a league leading 3171 passing yards with a pace to reach right around 5000 yards if he doesn't get bored and call into work sick the last few weeks. Manning fell from the wagon last week when he entered the game with an NFL record 8 of 9 games with 300 or more passing yards but only managed to pass for 299 yards in Baltimore.

Manning passed for 318 yards and one score when the Texans visited three weeks ago. Look for him to get back to his 300 yard ways and toss at least two scores this time.

Running Backs: Joseph Addai continues his scoring mania with nine touchdowns in the last eight games and a total of ten on the season. His yardage continues to be nothing special since he usually has ten to 15 runs per game but he also works as a receiver for an added bonus. All that sitting on Donald Brown hasn't gotten his owners any reward. He only has a handful of carries per week and has not scored since week four.

Addai run for 63 yards and a score on 14 carries and added 49 yards and a second touchdown on five receptions against the Texans. Expect the scoring run to continue but much less likely that he will double up this time.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne "only" had seven catches for 89 yards last week in Baltimore but still is in the running for the #1 wideout in all the land with eight scores and 968 yards on 76 catches. Pierre Garcon comes off his best game ever with six receptions for 108 yards which was double his normal output. He has only one touchdown over the last seven games.

Wayne only had eight receptions for 64 yards and no scores versus the Texans last month. Garcon had five catches for 60 yards and Collie was held to 26 yards on two receptions.

The Texans have only allowed one receiver to score in Houston this year but have not faced any top passing teams either. Look for solid efforts across the board with the Colts against a secondary that is average at best.

Tight Ends: Dallas Clark has been solid all season at worst and prolific on occasion. The oddity with him is that he has had his best yardage efforts come at home for the most part and yet his four touchdowns all came in road games. He has never scored in Indianapolis this year. Clark turned in 14 catches for 119 yards versus the Texans three weeks ago and had no score. This week - he gets the score.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 3 13 4 1 9 17
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 13 17 17 17 7 7

Houston Texans (5-5)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYJ 7-24 -4.5 44
2 @TEN 34-31 +7 40.5
3 JAC 24-31 -4 46.5
4 OAK 29-6 -9.5 41
5 @ARI 21-28 +5.5 48
6 @CIN 28-17 +5.5 46
7 SF 24-21 -3 44.5
8 @BUF 31-10 -3.5 42
9 @IND 17-20 +9 48
10 BYE - - -
11 TEN 17-20 -4 48.5-
12 IND   +3.5 48
13 @JAC - - -
14 SEA - - -
15 @STL - - -
16 @MIA - - -
17 NE - - -
HOU vs IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub     300,2
RB Steve Slaton 30 40,1  
RB Chris Brown 40 10  
TE James Casey   30  
WR Andre' Johnson   90,1  
WR Kevin Walter   60  
WR David Anderson   40  
PK Kris Brown 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Texans lost their chance for overtime when Kris Brown went wide left on Monday night and that makes the second game in a row they lost 17-20. For the want of three points in the last two games, the Texans could be 7-3 and tied for the #2 seed in the AFC that apparently no one wants that badly. The good news here is that while the Texans face serious competition in future games to reach the playoffs, at least they face numerous softer secondaries that should prop up the fantasy value of Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub and isn't that what's it really about?

Quarterback: Matt Schaub passed for 311 yards and a touchdown in Indianapolis just two games ago and threw for 305 yards and two scores against the Titans on Monday. That gives Schaub six games over 300 yards passing and 18 touchdowns on the season. Back at home, Schaub faces the Colts yet again and still the only opponent that has scored more than once against the Colts secondary has been Tom Brady - otherwise no opposing quarterback has managed more than one passing score though five have topped 250 passing yards.

Back at home expect a repeat of sorts from just two weeks ago. The Colts are slipping each week before righting themselves in the nick of time and Schaub needs early success if he is to produce more than last time. I see him getting two scores though it will be a rarity.

Running Backs: Steve Slaton was reinstalled as the starting running back in name but last week the Texans elected to rely on Chris "the sloth" Brown to run for 36 yards on 11 carries while Slaton became more of a third down back. Slaton did score on a reception and had five catches for 42 yards but only five runs for 21 yards. Apparently the whole Ryan Moats thing was just a fling, they did not mean it, it only last a couple of weeks and now he is out of the picture. I swear. Not that anything in the backfield has made a lot of sense this year but featuring the slow and brittle Brown is the most surprising. Brown even had three catches for 17 yards in the game.

Moats and Slaton combined for 22 carries for 55 yards and one score in Indianapolis. Slaton scored the touchdown but Moats also had three receptions for 15 yards that also included a score.

Here's the problem. The Colts overall are average against the run because a few top runners posted big games against them but hardly anyone else has. The Texans are not one of the top running teams. The rotation will change this week only if you rely on it remaining the same.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson had for catches for 78 yards last Monday and scored for the first time since week five. He only has five touchdowns on the season though he has four games over 100 yards including the 103 against the Colts three weeks ago. David Anderson has been promoted to the #3 receiver and he responded well with a season high five receptions for 52 yards though he has not scored yet. Kevin Walter is a side note by now, turning in mostly 40 of 50 yard games though against the Colts he had 67 yards on five receptions for one of his best efforts of the year.

Nothing new in this game that was just played three weeks ago except the Colts are more winning-weary and the Texans are at home. Look for Johnson to continue to have a hot streak and score with decent yardage since the Colts secondary is banged up.

Tight Ends: Not that there is any fantasy value here yet, but the rookie James Casey finally showed up last week when he had two catches for 33 yards. He's worth tracking for now but not worth owning yet.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 6 9 11 8 22 26
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 6 16 25 3 23 1

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