Houston (6-6) at Indianapolis (6-6)
When: Sunday, December 11th 2016
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: CBS
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The Houston Texans will look for the season sweep of the Indianapolis Colts and control of the competitive AFC South standings. The Texans and Colts are both tied with Tennessee at 6-6, but Houston has already beaten both teams and are 3-0 in the division. The Texans might be the coldest of the three teams right as they have lost three-straight and have scored 13 points in each of the last two games. Brock Osweiler is 31st in the NFL among 32 qualified quarterbacks with a 74.2 rating and is last in yards per attempt at 5.77. Osweiler threw for 269 yards and two TDs in a 26-23 overtime home win over Indianapolis in Week 6. Houston’s defense has carried the team most of the season but is starting to get banged-up with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (wrist/elbow) questionable and cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ribs) out for this Sunday’s game. The Texans rank 5th in both total defense (316.1) and against the pass (208.4), but they’ve allowed 21 or more points in four straight games. Houston will get last-place Jacksonville at home next week.
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The Colts are riding high with the return of quarterback Andrew Luck from concussion protocol. Indy is coming off their best game of the season on Monday night when they embarrassed the New York Jets 41-10. Luck was 22-of-28 for 278 yards and four touchdowns – three of them to tight end Dwayne Allen. The former third-round draft pick from Clemson hadn’t scored since Week 5, but gained a season-high 72 yards on Monday. Luck and the offense could be asked to do even more down the stretch with the defense losing middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson to a four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Jackson, who is the signal-caller on defense and has recorded 78 tackles and a sack this season, is not eligible to return to the team until the day after the end of the regular season. Rookie LB Antonio Morrison is expected to start in place of Jackson. The Colts will face two tough road tests after Sunday when they travel to Minnesota and Oakland before finishing up at home against the Jaguars.
I think Osweiler will have some success against the Colts 28th-ranked pass defense and I don’t see Luck going off against a solid Houston defense. The last five meetings have been decided by seven points or less, so I’ll take the 6.5.
Pick: Texans +6.5