Colts vs. Texans: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread, Radio, Game Time and More

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 02:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 2, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Embarrassed before a national television audience on Monday Night Football, the Houston Texans will have to recover quickly before Sunday's game against the AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts.

Despite the obliteration at the hands of the Patriots, the Texans can still lock up the division and put themselves in the driver's seat for the top seed in the AFC with a win on Sunday. In other words, it's not quite time to panic down in Houston. This is still a team with possibly the most balanced roster in the NFL, equipped with cabals of talent on both sides of the ball.

The Colts head into Sunday's contest in a far better mood. Fresh off three wins in a row, Indianapolis is on the precipice of something few thought possible in August: a playoff berth. However, with two games against Houston remaining, this week could be a litmus test of how the Colts will fare against the NFL's elite. 

With that in mind, here is a look at everything you need to know about Sunday's battle of AFC South foes. 


Where: Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX

When: Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Listen: Colts Radio NetworkTexans Radio Network

Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket

Betting Line: Texans (-8), according to Vegas Insider.

Over/Under: 49, according to Vegas Insider.


What's at Stake?

A win for the Texans on Sunday and they can bathe in the waters of AFC South supremacy. Though this is the first time these two teams have met, Houston can lock up its second consecutive divisional crown with a win and move forward trying to clinch a first-round bye.

Meanwhile, the Colts will simply attempt to keep their improbable season barreling ahead. Indianapolis has three straight wins, which has somehow spurred the team atop the AFC Wild Card standings and actually kept its divisional hopes alive.

Getting a critical victory on Sunday would lock up a playoff berth for a team that had the No. 1 pick just eight months prior. Considering all the team went through to get here, coming out victorious would culminate perhaps the most improbable success story in recent memory.


Colts Injury Report (Via CBS Sports)

DB Tom Zbikowski, Knee, Missed Week 14


Texans Injury Report

Houston head coach Gary Kubiak gave updates on some injured players on Tuesday. Here is a look at what he had to say, via the Texans' official Twitter feed:


Kubiak: We missed TE Garrett Graham. Gives us a lot of flexibility. He's important. Feeling well, expected to be on field Sunday.

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 11, 2012

Kubiak: RT Derek Newton worked today and worked well. ILB's Dobbins and Sharpton were nicked up after the game.

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 11, 2012


Fantasy Player to Watch: WR Andre Johnson

It's playoff time across the world for the fantasy-obsessed community, meaning that owners will be relying on their stars more than ever on Sunday.

For owners of Andre Johnson, that means it's time for him to rejoin the scoring community. Though the 10th-year receiver is well on his way to another Pro Bowl season with 82 receptions for 1,209 yards, Johnson has scored just three touchdowns all year.

What's more, two of those scores came in the first two weeks. Johnson's inability to get into the end zone has now become a bit of an endemic, including nine of his past 10 games, but also stretching into last season as well, where he scored just twice in seven contests.

His yardage is nice, but touchdowns win championships. The Colts come into Week 15 ranked No. 29 in the NFL against the pass, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA, but their 18 touchdown passes allowed ranks in the top half of the league.

It won't be a cakewalk for Johnson, but Indianapolis' secondary is vulnerable in spots. 


What They're Saying

The amazing story of the Colts isn't lost on anyone. They had the top pick in the draft in April, cut the greatest regular season quarterback in league history and a bunch of stalwart veterans, but still head into Week 15 one game away from a playoff berth.

When asked how his team has managed to excel, interim head coach Bruce Arians pointed to two main causes, according to the Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell:

Arians: 2 main reasons #colts are 9-4 after 2-14. Players believe in the process. And Andrew Luck.'he's had a lot to do with it.'

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) December 10, 2012

On the other side of the field, Houston came into 2012 with far greater expectations. Kubiak acknowledged that his team has lived up to those expectations for the most part, but still needs to fix some deficiencies, according to the team's Twitter feed:

Kubiak: we have to let the bad things go and move on to next week and this opportunity.

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 11, 2012


Kubiak: we have to let the bad things go and move on to next week and this opportunity.

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 11, 2012


Colts Key Player: QB Andrew Luck

As it has been pretty much for the entire season, Indianapolis' production on Sunday will fall on its rookie quarterback. 

It goes without saying at this point that Luck has answered the call every step of the way. The former Stanford star has thrown for 3,792 yards and 18 touchdowns this season and has already led an NFL rookie record six game-winning drives.

Still, one problem area persists with Luck: turnovers. The young signal-caller already has 18 on the season, has a streak of five straight games with one or more completion to the other team and has only gone without a pick three times all season.

Couple that with 10 fumbles and Luck has made more mistakes that most teams could not survive. The Colts won't be able to survive if Luck's turnovers crop up against Houston. 

There can be no taking the good with the bad on Sunday. Luck has to perform at an elite NFL quarterback level, not an elite NFL rookie level. Whether he does will almost certainly dictate the final score.


Texans Key Player: DE J.J. Watt

What's the easiest way to fluster a young quarterback? Pressure. For the Texans, getting in the quarterback's face is Watt's responsibility, who might as well have his name engraved on the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year trophy already.

The second-year star has 16.5 sacks on the season, second behind Aldon Smith, but also has 64 tackles and a whopping 15 passes defended. When considering Houston uses a base 3-4 defense, one that usually relies on defensive ends to be run-stoppers instead of edge pass-rushers, Watt's brilliance becomes even more impressive. 

And he should be able to have a huge impact on Sunday. Luck has been sacked 32 times on the season, tied for third most in the NFL, and the Colts' adjusted sack rate ranks 17th, according to Football Outsiders.

Watt is going to hit Luck and hit him hard on Sunday.



The Texans may have been eviscerated by the Patriots on Monday, but the Colts felt that same fate earlier this year. When the transitive property doesn't work, it's time to take a look at the two most basic tenants of predictions: talent and statistics.

Both of those favor Houston heavily. Look for Kubiak's squad to come away with a relatively easy win to lock up the AFC South on Sunday.

Score Prediction: Texans 31, Colts 20