TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Indianapolis Colts

Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
(credit: Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
(credit: Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Texans' season continues to spiral out of control and after they lost their 11th straight game to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14, head coach Gary Kubiak was fired. The final straw was Kubiak’s decision to return Matt Schaub to the lineup. Ownership wants Case Keenum to play quarterback the rest of the way. Keenum has shown some accuracy in his passing, but he can’t make key plays in the clutch.
Winner Something is wrong in Indianapolis. Even though the Colts are in first place and clinched the AFC South when the Tennessee Titans lost to Denver, the offense is not playing consistently and much of that may be due to the constraints that offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton have put on quarterback Andrew Luck. The quarterback has lacked the fluidity and ease he showed during his rookie year.
Offense
Winner The Texans seem to be a much more talented team than their record indicates, but that’s cold comfort for the most disappointing team in the league. The Texans are depending on Ben Tate to give them a running game and he has 699 yards and is averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is a big-play maker while tight end Garrett Graham has been productive with 49-545-5.
Winner The Colts’ running game was awful in the Week 14 loss to Cincinnati as Trent Richardson had 20 yards while Donald Brown had 11. Richardson has been a disaster since being traded from Cleveland, while Brown has played with effort. T.Y. Hilton has speed and can be explosive, but he lacks consistency. Tight end Coby Fleener has become one of Luck’s most dependable receivers.
Defense
Winner The Texans have been an anomaly this season because their defense has a high statistical ranking, but they can’t seal the deal in close games. Defensive end J.J. Watt remains one of the best players in the league and he leads the team with 64 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Inside linebacker Daryl Sharpton has good range and he has 62 tackles.
The Colts' defense struggled against the accurate passing of Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, and they gave up three TD passes as well as three more rushing TDs. The Colts play a fairly physical brand of defense, but they had far too many lapses against the Bengals. Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman is one of the Colts’ hardest hitters, while Robert Mathis has 15.5 sacks and can dominate any game.
Special Teams
The Texans regularly play poorly on special teams and that area has been a problem for them again this season. While Keshawn Martin can be a dangerous return specialist, the Texans’ coverage teams are too soft. Placekicker Randy Bullock has made 22-of-31 FG attempts and is not dependable.
Winner The Colts have given up one punt return for a score this year, but they regularly do a fine job in covering kickoffs and punts. Adam Vinatieri has ice water in his veins and he is not going to get nervous when asked to make a game-winning kick. Pat McAfee is dependable and is a good directional punter.

The Winner Is

(credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Winner Indianapolis Colts
3 out of 4

It’s not just a cliché because most teams do get a lift when they bring in a new coach. However, Wade Phillips has a lot of work to do if he wants to turn around the Texans. It appears that Phillips’ team is just playing out the string.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Restaurant Week 365

Listen Live