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Sunday, November 3, 2013

NFL Cash-In: Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans

Wild on Sports
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NFL Cash-In:
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
Line: Indy -2, O/U:44

The Houston Texans opened the season with a pair of wins and appeared to be off to the same hot start as last season. Fast forward five weeks and that could not be further from the truth. Now sitting at 2-5 and barley clinging to an outside shot at a wild card berth they will take on the division leading Indianapolis Colts, fresh of their biggest win of the season against the then undefeated Denver Broncos.

The trouble for Houston has been largely linked to the inconsistent play of QB Matt Schaub. The combination of being banged up and making poor decisions with the football brought the boo-birds out in full force calling for back-up TJ Yates who was admirable in filling in for the injured Schaub a year ago. When Schaub was finally removed due to an ankle injury it was Case Keenum, not Yates that took the helm. He did a serviceable job against KC before the bye but it was not enough. Now with a bye week under his belt to get full first team reps, Keenum will need to really step this week against a very good Colts team.

As mentioned before, the Colts are coming off a huge win in Peyton Manning's return (as a visitor) to Indy. Andrew Luck had possibly the game of his career and only further cemented the decision that the Colts made to move forward with the new face of the franchise. This week Luck will be going up against the stingiest pass defense in the league allowing just 146yards per game on defense. That defense however will be without Danniel Manning and Brian Cushing who both sustained season ending injuries against KC.

The biggest wild card in this one will be running back Arian Foster. Indy is just 29th in the league against the run this season and Foster, when healthy, is one of the best backs in football. Foster missed the game against KC with a hamstring injury and will be a game time decision this week. If he can't go it will be Ben Tate carrying the rock. He is coming off a rib injury that has kept him out of the lineup most of the season.

The Verdict: A back-up rookie QB going up against one of the best in the game. Seems like a miss-match from here. These are two teams trending in polar opposite directions, particularly is Foster can't go.

PICK: INDIANAPOLIS -2

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