The Houston Texans were considered the team to beat in the AFC South entering the season, but they are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive when they host the division-leading Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night. The Texans have dropped five consecutive games following a one-point loss in Kansas City on Oct. 20. Houston is in dire need of a victory against the Colts, who hold a two-game lead over Tennessee and a three-game edge over the Texans in the division.
Both teams are coming off a bye, but Indianapolis went in on a high note after handing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos their first loss. Andrew Luck has guided the Colts to victories over the Broncos, Seattle and San Francisco - three teams with a combined 20-4 record - but split a pair of decisions against the Texans in his rookie season. Undrafted free agent Case Keenum will earn his second career start for Houston even though beleaguered QB Matt Schaub is healthy.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Colts -1. O/U: 44.5.
ABOUT THE COLTS (5-2): Indianapolis absorbed a major blow in the win over Denver when veteran wideout Reggie Wayne suffered a season-ending knee injury. That will place added pressure on Luck and an untested wide receiver corps since the running game has not received much production from running back Trent Richardson, who has yet to surpass 60 yards in five games since he was acquired from the Cleveland Browns. The defense, led by Robert Mathis and his league-best 11.5 sacks, ranks eighth with an average of 18.7 points allowed.
ABOUT THE TEXANS (2-5): Keenum will be making his first home start but could face tough sledding due to injuries to the backfield tandem of Arian Foster (hamstring) and Ben Tate (ribs), which prompted the signing of three running backs on Monday. With Foster and Tate possible game-time decisions, Keenum will look to wide receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, who combined for seven receptions for 165 yards and a TD versus the Chiefs. Houston's top-ranked defense (267.7 yards per game) lost star linebacker Brian Cushing (knee) for the season in the last game.
1. Foster has averaged 150.4 yards rushing in five matchups against Indianapolis.
2. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton had TD catches of 70 and 61 yards against the Texans last season.
3. The Colts have won 18 of the last 22 meetings, although the teams have split the last six - with the home team winning each time.
PREDICTION: Texans 23, Colts 20