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

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Texans vs. Colts: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread Info, Game Time and More
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Who would have thought these two teams would meet in Week 17 under these circumstances?

Not many.

OK, that's not entirely true. Almost everyone projected the Houston Texans to take the AFC South. But no one outside of Indianapolis picked the Colts, the worst team in football a year ago, to make the playoffs.

But, thanks to Andrew Luck and a little "Chuckstrong" belief, that's where the Colts sit today.

The Texans are locked into a top-three seed in the AFC, but with a win, the Texans can secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Adding to the intrigue of this game is the return of Chuck Pagano, who will be on the sidelines this weekend after a battle with leukemia.

It is sure to be an emotional showdown in Indy as the Texans battle for the No. 1 seed and the Colts play for Chuck.

 

Who takes this game?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: NFL.com

Betting Line: Houston -4.5 (via Football Locks)

 

Houston Injury Report as of 12/25 (via NFL.com)

 

Tyler Clutts RB Abdominal Full Participation in Practice Probable
Derek Newton T Knee Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Barrett Ruud LB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Johnathan Joseph CB Groin Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Shaun Cody DT Back Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Antonio Smith DE Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Ben Tate RB Hamstring Full Participation in Practice Probable
Wade Smith G Knee Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Owen Daniels TE Hamstring Full Participation in Practice Probable
Alan Ball CB Foot Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Justin Forsett RB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Darryl Sharpton LB Toe Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Glover Quin S Hip Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Jared Crick DE Neck Full Participation in Practice Probable
Tim Dobbins LB Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice Probable
T.J. Yates QB right Elbow Full Participation in Practice Probable
Brooks Reed LB Groin Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Bryan Braman LB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable

Indianapolis Injury Report as of 12/25 (via NFL.com)

 

Kavell Conner LB Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Out
A.Q. Shipley C Knee Full Participation in Practice Questionable
Samson Satele C Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Martin Tevaseu DT Illness Full Participation in Practice Probable
Robert Mathis LB -- Full Participation in Practice --
Andrew Luck QB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Reggie Wayne WR -- Did Not Participate In Practice --
Delone Carter RB Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Tom Zbikowski S Knee Limited Participation in Practice Out
Winston Justice T Biceps Full Participation in Practice Questionable
Teddy Williams CB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Joe Lefeged S Calf Full Participation in Practice Probable
Antonio Johnson DT Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Jerrell Freeman LB Thumb Full Participation in Practice Probable
Dwight Freeney LB Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable

 

What's at Stake

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

For Houston, a lot.

With a win, the Texans clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. A huge boost when taking on highly capable teams like their potential matchups with the Ravens or Bengals.

For Indy, not so much.

The Colts are already locked into the No. 5 seed in the AFC, and they simply await the revel of their opponent, likely the winner of the AFC North.

Still, expect the Colts to play as hard as they have all year to honor the amazing return of their head coach.


Fantasy Plays

Houston RB: Ben Tate

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Yes, you read that correctly. Ben Tate, not Arian Foster.

Foster, who left last Sunday's game against the Vikings with an irregular heartbeat, is fine, according to a tweet by Foster after last Sunday's game.

However, with the division title already secure, you can bet the Texans ease Foster's workload a bit against the Colts, which leaves the carries to Tate.

And boy is it a heck of a matchup for him. The Colts are 30th in the NFL against the run and are only a week removed from Jamaal Charles rushing for 226 yards against them.

Tate isn't Foster, but on Sunday, his production might approach that level.

 

Indianapolis QB: Andrew Luck

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Honestly, who else on this team is a better fantasy start than Luck?

Luck has been a top-10 fantasy QB all season, and the Colts will be forced to throw against the Texans' stout rush defense.

The No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft has eclipsed double-digit fantasy points in all but three games this year. Don't expect that to change on Sunday.

Plus, it won't hurt that the whole team will receive a little emotional boost from the return of Pagano.

 

What They're Saying

The talk of the nation is surrounding the return of Pagano.

The sports world is abuzz with the great news, and ESPN's Trey Wingo had this to say after Pagano's press conference on Christmas Eve:

Chuckstrong is right. This team has been the best story in the NFL this season.

Luck has totally changed the attitude in Indy and has almost made Colts fans forget about that other quarterback.

You know, Peyton Manning.

As good as Luck has been, though, the season is about Pagano. He's the epicenter of this comeback, and his inspirational story has defined the Colt's season.

 

Key Matchup: J.J. Watt vs. Colts O-line

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Usually this would be the Houston defensive line versus the Indy O-line, but last time around Watt almost single-handedly beat the Colts.

In the pair's last matchup only two weeks ago, Watt was a monster. He had three sacks, 10 tackles and was in the Colts backfield almost as much as Luck.

He was nothing short of a force.

And if he manages to repeat his three-sack performance on Sunday, he would break Michael Strahan's single-season sack record of 22.5. Actually, Watt only needs 2.5 sacks to make that happen.

The Colts offensive line will have to play much better this time around to not only ensure that Watt doesn't enter the record books, but more importantly, to make sure their quarterback stays 100 percent entering the playoffs.

 

Prediction

Pagano is back on the sidelines, and it's sure to give the Colts a huge boost at home.

But that won't prevent the Texans from taking this game. They're the more talented team, and more importantly, they need this game with home-field advantage on the line.

It will be closer than these teams' last matchup, but the Texans will walk away from this game with the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Houston 27, Indianapolis 21

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