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*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
Another game this week where the eventual loser drew first blood with a first/quick score and then their opponent just went on a tear and took over the game for the eventual win. The Texans scored first after the Colts forced an end zone interception, but it was negated by a suspect ‘hit on a defenseless receiver’ and the Texans then scored the 1-yard TD on the next play. It was all Colts from there. 17-7 Indy at the half and they held on 24-21, but the game wasn’t quite as close as it appeared.
The Colts rise to 7-6, down two games to Houston with 3 games left. The Texans have the tiebreaker advantages…unless (if they lose twice and Indy wins out) Houston loses Week 17 hosting Jacksonville and then ends up tied with Indy – the Colts then win the tie breaker (in-division record). It’s a very small window for Indy to win the division and payoff my in-season long-shot bet on Indy to win the AFC South.
The Colts would have to win out…starting with a victory over hit Dallas this week. It’s a lot to ask but we see Indy getting to 9-7 for sure and 10-6 possible.
Houston can afford one more loss and still win the division. Two cold-weather road games ahead (NYJ and PHI), if they trip up then their Week 17 hosting the Jags will be huge. Houston likely wins two of their next 3 to finish 11-5, but a fall to 10-6 is possible…as is a three-game win streak to finish 12-4 and have a possible round-one playoff BYE. A very favorable schedule all season for the Texans.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let me just say this about the Colts…a really solid defensive performance here. On the road versus a white-hot team, and Indy handled them – 8 QB hits and 10.5 TFLs against the Texans his game.
The Texans were a hot team and Indy came in and punched them in the mouth. This week, Indy faces a similar-to-Houston Dallas team. Dallas is on a win streak and has a weak O-Line and a good defense. I think the Colts can do to Dallas what they just did to Houston – and if Indy beats Dallas, the division race heats up and Indy is a likely wild card no matter what.
Indy has a scrappy defense…Week 16 hosting NYG may be a safe space to use that DST if needed.
-- Marlon Mack (14-33-1, 0-0-0/1) is dying a slow fantasy death. A ‘C’ grade talent lead back who gets OK touches but doesn’t do much with them and is a ghost in the passing game. I’ve been cutting Mack for weeks…I can’t see any turnaround coming against Dallas this week; not against that defense.
-- Andrew Luck (27-41 for 399 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) played another gem, and he has bounced back nicely from the Jaguars shutout. He could take the MVP lead with a big win over Dallas this week…especially if that sets off a domino effect of them coming from nowhere to win the AFC South.
-- Colts WR Zach Pascal (5-68-1/6) had a nice game with Luck here. T.Y. Hilton (9-199-0/12) crushed it but Pascal was a great #2. He’s the sleeper play from the Colts group in Week 15. He has looked terrific on and off this season when given the chance.
There’s been one truth of Colts non-TY WRs…they never have a follow-up performance the next week…
-- DeAndre Hopkins (4-36-1/10) has had one 100+ yard game in his last 8 games. He’s had 7 TDs in those 8 games, but the yards are drying up as Deshaun Watson’s passing numbers tumble. He’s having solid WR1 games but the ‘wow factor’ games haven’t been as ominous.
-- Keke Coutee (NDP) may give it a go this week. I’m still a fan of what they were trying to do with him, but his hamstring took him out and I wouldn’t try to go here unless super desperate because I feel like he’s one false move from another episode. *JUST IN – INACTIVE Week 15…AGAIN*
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes from these two teams…
Indy hosts Dallas Week 15…not great for offensive production, but Luck has been more rolling through everyone than not. Week 16 in the dome vs. NYG is a Week 16 gift.
Houston has two cold games ahead…at NYJ and at PHI. Their DST should be useful, but the offense may stay down a tick due to the weather issues.
Snap Counts of Interest:
72 = Hopkins
68 = Dem Thomas
32 = Joe Webb
08 = D Carter
54 = Hilton
49 = Grant
35 = Pascal
25 = CH Rogers
03 = Fountain