By Dave Thomas
For a team that is struggling, there’s nothing like a meeting with an opponent that is currently leading your division. Welcome to the world of the Houston Texans.
In the midst of a five-game losing streak, the Houston Texans return from their bye week this Sunday night when they entertain the AFC South leading Indianapolis Colts and QB Andrew Luck in prime time. So much for getting just any opponent right out of the gates.
Going into their bye, the Texans had dropped five straight, most recently being a hard-fought 17-16 loss a week ago this past Sunday to the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs.
Although Houston (2-5) played better that day than it had in several of its previous losses, the end result was still the same. Another loss, another week for fans to discuss whether or not head coach Gary Kubiak should and would make it to the end of the season.
What Happened to the Season?
What many thought would be a promising season for this franchise has turned into utter disaster after seven games.
While the Texans narrowly won their first two games (31-28 over San Diego, 30-24 over Tennessee in overtime), there was a feeling that this team might just have what it takes to win this year, showing it could come back from deficits in the first two games. Before too long, however, whatever confidence the Texans and their fans might have had went south in a heartbeat.
Blowout losses to Baltimore, San Francisco and St. Louis, saddled with a heart-breaking home loss to Seattle, and you had the Texans literally limping into Kansas City a Sunday ago. Even though Houston under young and unproven QB Case Keenum played better, there was no win to show for it.
Colts, Luck Sit at 5-2
With that in mind, here now come the Colts, a team that went from 2-14 two years ago to a playoff appearance and second place in the AFC South in 2012. The two division foes will also meet on Dec. 15 in Indianapolis.
While Luck (1,574 passing, 10 TD’s so far this season) is the centerpiece of this turnaround project, there are a number of other weapons the Texans will have to deal with come Sunday evening at Reliant Stadium.
On offense, recently acquired running back Trent Richardson (228 yards rushing, two TDs) can take some pressure off of Luck and the passing game. Even though veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne was lost in the team’s last game (win over Denver) to a torn ACL, the Colts can turn to second-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (412 yards, two touchdowns). Hilton had 50 receptions for 861 yards and seven TD’s in his rookie season in 2012.
On the defensive side of the ball, Indianapolis is led by linebacker Robert Mathis 11.5 sacks, while fellow linebacker Jerrell Freeman has accounted for 40 solo tackles.
Needless to say, things do not get much easier come Sunday for a Houston squad just looking for a win and a little momentum.
For more Houston Texans news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.