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The Houston Texans (11-2) return to Reliant Stadium for the first time in nearly a month with a chance to clinch the AFC South division title against the Indianapolis Colts (9-4) this Sunday at noon.
A win for the Texans against their division foes would clinch the franchise’s second consecutive division title and keep the team in the driver’s seat to secure homefield advantage in the AFC playoff race with only two games remaining in the regular season. The Colts can clinch a playoff berth and remain in the hunt for the division title with a victory.
The game will feature two of the AFC’s best offenses. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, who is 18-5 as a starter over the last two years, leads an offense that is averaging 384.5 yards per game. Running back Arian Foster ranks second in the conference with 1,148 yards rushing. Wide receiver Andre Johnson ranks fourth in the NFL with 1,209 yards receiving.
Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, a Houston native, has engineered four fourth-quarter comebacks and has led six game-winning drives this season. The former Stratford H.S. quarterback has thrown for 3,792 yards, 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Luck’s top target has been wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who leads the AFC and ranks third in the NFL with 1,220 yards receiving.
Defensive end J.J. Watt leads the Texans’ seventh-ranked defense in nearly every statistical category and sits atop the AFC with 16.5 sacks.
Houston ended a three-game road stint with a 42-14 loss last Monday night at New England. The Texans fell behind early and struggled on third downs on both sides of the ball in the loss.
Sunday’s game will be the first of two games the division rivals will play against one another in the final three weeks of the regular season. The Texans and Colts will close out their regular seasons at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 30.
• The Texans trail 3-17 in the series but have won the last two meetings at Reliant Stadium, in the 2010 and 2011 season openers.
• Last Regular Season Meeting: Indianapolis 19, Houston 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 22, 2011.
A WIN AGAINST INDIANAPOLIS WOULD…
• Clinch a second consecutive AFC South division title for Houston.
• Give Houston a franchise-record 12 regular season wins.
• Give Houston its third consecutive win at home against Indianapolis.
• Give Houston a 6-1 record at home on the season, tying a franchise
mark set for home wins in a season in 2007 and matched in 2008.
• Improve Head Coach Gary Kubiak’s career record to 59-51.