The game played right into the Houston Texans’ hands…they got up a few scores, and then took the ball/worry away from Brock Osweiler having to hang/produce points. It was 13–3 Houston at the half and then 16–3 in the third. The teams traded a couple of scores from there. The Colts tried to push back into it, as always, but couldn’t find the miracle finish in the end – the final drive stalled on an erratically thrown 4th & 1 screen pass. 22–17 Houston wins…and they wrestled control of the AFC South from Indy, and the Colts moved one step closer to a total overhaul of management at season’s end. A non-going-to-the-playoffs season’s end for the Colts awaits. It’s going to be ugly.
If I understand things properly, the Texans are seriously in the driver’s seat now to win the division. If they win at home the next two weeks, and the Titans lose once the next two weeks (likely this week at KC)…then Week 17 Houston vs. Tennessee is meaningless. The Texans own the tiebreakers. Beat the Jags and Bengals the next two weeks, and the Texans are home free…hosting a playoff game again…and likely to lose in that scenario again. Houston will probably host the AFC West second-place team…Oakland (today). Maybe KC in the end.
— One of the key reasons why Indy lost this game – Andrew Luck (24-45 for 276 yards, 2 TD/2 INT). After re-watching this game, along with several other games the past few days, I must ask the question – can anyone in the NFL play quarterback anymore? I thought Ben Roethlisberger was the highest profile QB who looked the most super-sloppy this week. Russell Wilson and Drew Brees were not gems either. Two of those QBs named could blame the weather. Luck was at home, in a dome, and looked ridiculous.
There were like a million interceptions thrown this week. A good amount of them, from the better QBs, were not their fault…they were clanked off hands up into the air, or aided by a sloppy field/ball, or a receiver fell down. I watched Luck’s every move in this game – I cannot explain what he was doing on several plays. I think he had THE WORST interceptions of any top QB this past week.
Fox Sports’ Nick Wright, budding radio personality and Cowherd show fill-in, has been blasting Luck for months…just from the perspective of looking at his career numbers and win-loss, etc. I thought Wright was just trying to get a rise ganging on Luck. He was extolling the virtues of Ryan Tannehill as well, so I kinda tuned him out. The more I listen to his thought process on Luck the past few weeks the more I’m starting to think I’m not being skeptical enough of Luck. If I used this game as evidence – Nick Wright has a great point on how overrated Luck is.
We all point out ‘the blocking’ as a main thorn for Luck, which has truth to it. Nick Wright was on ‘The Herd’ this week and they argued about Luck, and Wright showed video of Luck from this game with all day to throw…and making bad decisions despite all the time. I thought he just cherry-picked one play to make his case, and then I re-watched this game. Wright was right. Luck’s first INT was with plenty of time but with Dwayne Allen falling down on a simple 5+ yard pass route. The thing was that Allen fell down very early in the route. Luck was looking that way. He couldn’t miss what happened, I didn’t think. Luck then proceeded to throw the ball with Allen virtually lying on the ground trying to scramble to his feet…Luck threw the ball seeing Allen on the ground (or obviously not seeing it) to where Allen would have been if still upright. However, he was still down and the ball sailed way over his head and right to a Texans defender standing alone. The announcers bemoaned Allen falling down as the problem. I was stunned by how Luck could not have seen all that…it’s almost like he threw the ball blindly. He had no pressure and everything was happening in his tunnel of vision.
Luck is operating a bad version of the bad Bruce Arians passing game – it’s an exciting passing game when everything is right. Passes mostly middle-deep, except last year the Cardinals had great O-Line protection to give time for routes and reads…this year neither the Cardinals nor the Colts have that kind of time. When Luck does have time he’s not above making head-scratching throws, apparently.
I’m not calling Andrew Luck a bust, but I am starting to see what Nick Wright has been talking about for months. We have been conned into not questioning or blaming anything on Luck.
Luck will get a new coach in 2017, probably a great coach because everyone wants to work with Luck, and he’ll likely go on to be special for fantasy, but right now…he’s just ‘good’. He’s #12 in passer rating, #11 in passing yards per game, and #5 in TD passes among all QBs this season.
See if Wright argument makes you pause. Start/FF the video to the 1 hour and 09 minute mark:
— It also doesn’t help Luck that Donte Moncrief (0 rec., 4 targets) and Philip Dorsett (3-19-0/8 targets) are the worst. Shame on all those who tried to shame me into endorsing Moncrief. He does score TDs though…but not in this game. He’ll likely miss Week 15 because, shocker, he’s hurt again. Dorsett’s issue is he can’t catch, but man is he fast.
— I thought T.Y. Hilton (9-115-1/13 targets) would be of little help to Luck in this game because A.J. Bouye would cover him, but Bouye did not chase Hilton. The Colts treated Hilton like any other regular WR. Barring a nice play or two…the coverage worked. The held him in check a lot of the game.
— Hilton’s certainly producing better than DeAndre Hopkins (2-33-0/4 targets) for fantasy. What a disastrous season for Hopkins as he starts getting closer to free agency. He has to be furious with a future with Osweiler. Four targets in this game. C.J. Fiedorowicz (3-32-0/7 targets) once again led all Texans in targets for the game. Hopkins against Jalen Ramsey this week is another dud game.
— You can use the Texans DST with confidence this week against Blake Bortles. Blake is usually nice enough to serve up a pick-six often. The Texans have a solid+ defense. You might can use Houston with confidence Week 16 versus Cincy at home as well.